Carbon emissions slow for first time in 15 years

NEW evidence shows global carbon emissions may have fallen despite the world economy growing at the same time.

Research published by the Global Carbon Project shows global carbon emissions dropped about 0.5% in 2015, compared with 2-3% growth each year since 2000.

That encouraging news came as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joined her counterparts from other nations in Paris to work towards a new global emissions deal.

A deal is expected later this week but under current carbon emission reduction proposals from the 197 nations represented in Paris, a temperature rise of 2.5-2.7 degrees on pre-Industrial Revolution levels is expected and that is more than the two degrees scientists predict will be a tipping point for irreversible climate change.

Australia has been a key driver of a proposal to limit rises to 1.5 degrees - one of several ideas to be voted on in the next two days.

Developing countries and small Pacific islands have pushed the 1.5 degree target, fearing widespread impacts from temperature and sea-level rises driven by more developed countries.

Fourteen of the hottest 15 years on record have occurred since 2000.