Economy

World's carbon emissions set to spike by 2% in 2017

World's carbon emissions set to spike by 2% in 2017”

By the end of 2017, the global CO2 emissions generated by fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise by 2 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Global Carbon Project's annual report published on Monday. While dozens of nations, including the United States, have been reducing their emissions in recent years, those declines have so far been offset by rising pollution from developing countries. The years from 2014 to 2016, by contrast, had seen little-to-no growth in Carbon dioxide emissions, making the 2017 projections particularly worrisome.

"Every year that goes by without an emissions peak", Mr. Peters said, makes the job of cutting greenhouse gases quickly enough to stabilize global warming this century "that much harder".

"With global Carbon dioxide emissions from all human activities estimated at 41 billion [metric tons] for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius let alone 1.5 degrees Celsius", Le Quere said in a statement.

On the flip side, the Global Carbon Project found, at least 21 countries have managed to cut their emissions significantly while growing their economies over the past decade, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Sweden.

"Although India's installed solar capacity nearly doubled in 2016 to 12 GW (gigawatts), the reduction in this year's growth is attributable to many factors, including reduced exports, a declining share of industrial and agricultural production in GDP, reduced consumer demand, and both a sudden fall in money circulation attributable to demonetisation late in 2016 and a goods and services tax introduced in 2017", the report published in Environmental Research Letters says. This, Jackson said, was despite green energy sources becoming increasingly popular in China but still being insufficient to meet the burgeoning energy demand - a gap that has been filled by "new oil, coal and natural gas infrastructure".

But, after a brief dip last year, China's emissions are projected to rise approximately 3.5 percent this year. Among them, the United States is expected to see a 0.4 percent decline in emissions this year, and the European Union 0.2 percent. Deforestation and land-use change drove those increases until about 1920, when fossil fuel use became the dominant source of carbon emissions.

India's emissions are also projected to have increased by 2 percent, in line with the country's GDP growth.

Global CO2 emissions have risen for the first time in three years as scientists warn Australia's 2030 Paris agreement target is slipping out of reach.

This year "might well prove a small blip on an otherwise flattening emissions curve", he said.

But for the policymakers meeting at COP 23, and for the rest of the world too, Jackson offers some hope, despite President Donald Trump's promises (so far largely unfulfilled) to revive the fossil fuel industry. "In the US, cities, states and companies have seized leadership on energy efficiency and low-carbon renewables that the federal government has abdicated".

"We were not particularly surprised that emissions are up again, but we were surprised at the size of the growth", says Corinne Le Quéré, a climate scientist at UEA and co-author of the work, which was published in the journals Nature Climate Change, Environmental Research Letters and Earth System Science Data Discussions. "The world's energy future is changing before our eyes".



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