CO2 Emissions Reached an All-Time High in 2018

A flame emits from a chimney at the BASF chemical company in Ludwigshafen Germany Tuesday Dec. 4

A flame emits from a chimney at the BASF chemical company in Ludwigshafen Germany Tuesday Dec. 4

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.

A separate study found that Greenland's ice sheet was melting at its fastest rate for at least 350 years, which could lead to a rapid increase in sea levels.

"This growth in global Carbon dioxide emissions puts the goals set out in the Paris Agreement in jeopardy", lead author Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre of Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said in a statement.

For the time being, the world appears to be settling into an average emissions growth rate of about 1 percent per year, Peters noted, although it varies from year to year. As far as finance is concerned, the rich nations have, so far, together pledged a meagre $10.3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) with merely one-third of it being available for developing countries as against the goal of $100 billion by 2020.

Emissions in the US, which has withdrawn from its commitment to the Paris Agreement, account for 15% of the global total, and look set to have grown about 2.5% in 2018 after several years of decline. "Fossil energy needs to be phased out and efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy".

China, the world's largest contributor to emissions - accounting for around 27 per cent of all global emissions - looks set for a 4.7 per cent growth in Carbon dioxide this year, the report states, reaching an all-time high.

This year's growth in emissions has been attributed to the strong economic growth. That should help take the edge off the emissions curve, even as growth picks up in another Asian giant - India.




In the 15 countries that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to cost more than four per cent of their GDP.

It follows a three year hiatus during which global Carbon dioxide emissions appeared to have been plateauing between 2014 and 2016.

The day after Thanksgiving, the Trump administration released a almost 1,700-page report cowritten by hundreds of scientists finding that climate change is already causing increasing damage to the United States. "Coal is still the mainstay of the Indian economy, and as in China, it will be a challenge for solar and wind to displace coal, given the strong growth in energy use", it said.

The good news is that renewable energy is growing by leaps and bounds.

The growth in renewables and other low-carbon technologies is encouraging, they note, and some nations are already strengthening their Paris pledges.

Although global leaders had given undertakings to reduce emissions, Mikaloff-Fletcher said "the fact there's all these words, but on a global scale we're still not doing it, that's a big worry".

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