CO2 emissions to hit historic highs in 2018

Posted December 07, 2018

A report released yesterday by a consortium of researchers known as the Global Carbon Project finds that global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are likely to have increased by about 2.7 percent in 2018, after a 1.6 percent increase in 2017.

Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between worldwide goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing.

Rising carbon dioxide levels are "pushed up mainly by coal use, but also by rising oil use in transport", lead researcher Dr. Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia in England told DW.

Last year, Carbon dioxide pollution increased by 1.6% after a three-year hiatus that raised hopes manmade greenhouse gas emissions had finally peaked despite an expanding world economy.

This week and next, nations are meeting in Poland to negotiate a set of rules for the Paris climate agreement, which will govern how individual countries' pledges are reported and enforced.

The report said that China's emissions increased with the rise in coal use, which accounts for about 60 percent of the country's total energy consumption and for 40 percent of climate change linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

Representatives from all countries took pledge at the Paris Agreement to take action against climate change, particularly by reducing their nations' carbon production and stopping global warming below 2 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels by end of the century. The report also said despite an increase in renewable energy sources, green energy is unable to come close to the global economy's energy demands which means that people continue to guzzle fossil fuels.

The report attributes the three-year pause largely to declines in coal use in China, which was temporarily investing less into energy-intensive construction projects, and the United States, thanks to a shift in natural gas, solar and wind power.

China's emissions accounted for 27% of the global total, having grown an estimated 4.7% in 2018 and reaching a new all-time high.

This year's growth in emissions has been attributed to the strong economic growth. India's growth in emissions was in fact the maximum for any major emitter.

In nations where emissions are already trending downward-the United States, for one-they must find ways to reduce their emissions even faster.

Global CO2 emissions are rising, with growing electricity generation in China among the reasons.

"Innovation must be the main driver of energy transformation", Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency. Lots of places in the USA have already woken up to the fact that renewable technology has a market for it, and a lot of U.S. states and cities have made their own pledges.

The report says if we meet the commitments of the 2015 Paris climate agreement then it can save millions of lives as well as hundreds of billions of dollars till the middle of the century.