Economy

Carbon emissions back on the rise

Carbon emissions back on the rise

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry, the bulk of man-made greenhouse gases, were on track to gain 2 percent in 2017 from 2016 levels to a record high of about 37 billion tonnes, it said.

"Global carbon dioxide emissions appear to be going up strongly once again after a three-year stable period", said Corinne Le Quéré, a lead researcher of the 2017 Global Carbon Budget report and director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

The 12th annual report is produced by 76 of the world's leading emissions experts from 57 research institutions and estimates that global carbon emissions from fossil fuels will have risen by 2 per cent by the end of 2017 - a significant rise, reports the Guardian.

"Global commitments made in Paris in 2015 to reduce emissions are still not being matched by actions", said CICERO's Glen Peters. An increase in burning coal in China, in particular, is likely responsible for much of the projected increase in carbon emissions.

The world's carbon emissions are expected to show a lurch upwards this year, by around 2%, after three years of staying virtually level. The increase in emissions this year, however, may upset the calculations.

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The research was conducted by University of East Anglia and the Global Carbon Project and the findings were published today simultaneously in the journals Nature Climate Change, Earth System Science Data Discussions and Environmental Research Letters.

Australia has committed to reducing emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. They grew 1.9 per cent in the rest of world.

Dr Canadell is also concerned that Australia is running out of time to reverse the emissions trajectory.

Their data, presented during negotiations among nearly 200 nations in Germany about details of the 2015 Paris Agreement climate accord, are a setback to a global goal of curbing emissions to avert more downpours, heat waves, and rising sea levels.

Although Professor Jotzo said there is a chance that Australia's 2017 emissions may show a slight decline due to the closing of the Hazelwood power station, this will likely be offset by a higher sales of petrol during the same period.

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India's rise in emissions was modest compared to previous years at 2 per cent, while the United States and European Union were both on track for small falls.

"With global Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2ºC let alone 1.5ºC".

China's emissions are projected to grow by 3.5% (0.7% to 5.4%), driven by a rise in coal consumption (GDP up 6.8%).

It could take as long as 10 years for scientists to confidently verify a sustained change in emissions using measurements of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

USA emissions are projected to decline by -0.4%(-2.7% to +1.9%), with coal consumption projected to rise slightly (GDP up 2.2%).

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Professor Le Quéré said: "The Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement will occur every five years, and this puts enormous pressure on the scientific community to develop methods and perform measurements that can truly verify changes in emissions within this five-yearly cycle".


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