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The US is propping up gas while the world moves to renewable energy

Solar panels in the forefront with windmills behind them under a blue sky on a sunny day.
Solar panels point to the sky at the Weesow-Wilmersdorf solar park on May 3rd, 2024, near Grischow, Germany.  | Photo by Maja Hitij / Getty Images

The amount of electricity and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants likely peaked in 2023, according to the annual global electricity review by energy think tank Ember. That means human civilization has likely passed a key turning point, according to Ember: countries will likely never generate as much electricity from fossil fuels again.

A record 30 percent of electricity globally came from renewable sources of energy last year thanks primarily to growth in solar and wind power. Starting this year, pollution from the power sector is likely to start dropping, with a 2 percent drop in the amount of fossil fuel-powered electricity projected for 2024 — a decline Ember expects to speed up in the long term.

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