Carbon dioxide pollutions dropped last year for the first time in a decade as manufacturing plants closed and people drove and flew less.
The United States Energy Department said that emissions dropped 7 percent in 2009 due to the slowing economy, improved energy efficiency and cleaner energy. Worldwide, there was a release of 34 billion tons of carbon dioxide, which is a 453-million-ton drop from the previous year.
The past decade also saw a shift in which countries were producing carbon dioxide as developing nations continue to use energy inefficiently. Two decades ago, the developed world produced 65 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide but now only produces 43 percent as the developing world has more than doubled their emissions.