Global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a "permanent slowdown" in the rate of increase.
new report, emissions in 2012 increased at less than half the average over the past decade.
Key factors included the shift to shale gas for energy in the U.S. while China increased its use of hydropower by 23%. However the use of cheap coal continues to be an issue, with UK consumption up by almost a quarter.
The report on trends in global emissions has been produced annually by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Center.
It finds that emissions of carbon dioxide reached a new record in 2012 of 34.5bn tonnes. But the rate of increase in CO2 was 1.4%, despite the global economy growing by 3.5%.