The massive growth in shale gas (unconventional gas aka fracking) has led to a drop in CO2 emissions as generators switch from coal to gas due to cost savings.
Natural gas is fast becoming the fuel of choice for the US power sector due to its low cost. According to the US Department of Energy figures, in the past 12 months, coal generation has slumped by 19% while gas generation has increased by 38%. Generally, a gas-fired power plant produces half the CO2 emissions of a coal-fired plant.
However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that 31.6 gigatonnes (GT) of CO2 were released globally last year, 1 GT more than last year and an increase in the average growth rate from 2006 to 2010 of over 66%.
It warned that "The door to a 2 degree trajectory is about to close, and close FOREVER."