Sci-tech

Climate reality check: Global carbon pollution up in 2018

Climate reality check: Global carbon pollution up in 2018

Fossil fuel emissions are estimated to grow in 2018 by 4.7 percent in China, 6.3 percent in India and 2.5 percent in the US and decrease by 0.7 percent in the EU.

"To limit global warming to the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5°C, Carbon dioxide emissions would need to decline by 50% by 2030 and reach zero around 2050", said Corinne Le Quéré, who directs theTyndall Centre for climate change at the University of East Anglia, UK.

"It is not enough to support renewables", she added.

The findings come from the 2018 Global Carbon Budget published by the Global Carbon Project in the journals Nature, Environmental Research Letters and Earth System Science Data.

"If the climate-aware European Union is planning new pan-Europe pipelines to lock in high carbon gas for decades to come, is it any surprise global emissions are rising?"

A single degree of warming to date has seen a rise in deadly heatwaves, droughts, floods, and superstorms made worse by rising seas.

"This is awful news", said Andrew Jones, co-director of Climate Interactive, which models greenhouse gas emissions and temperatures but was not part of the research.

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"While there has been positive progress on clean energy and electric vehicles, this is now too small to impact the onward march of fossil fuels".

She said: "Scotland has been widely praised internationally for our work to tackle climate change and I am absolutely determined that there will be no let-up in our efforts".

The uncertainty range for the 2.7 percent increase is 1.8 to 3.7 percent.

Emissions in the rest of the world, the remaining 42 per cent of global emissions, are expected to grow about 1.8 per cent (+0.5 per cent to +3.0 per cent) this year.

Emissions in the United States account for 15 per cent of the global total, and look set to have grown about 2.5 per cent (+0.5 per cent to +4.5 per cent) in 2018 after several years in decline.

Oil and gas use have grown nearly unabated in the last decade.

Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018 - according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project. The growth in emissions is linked to construction activity and economic growth, part of which may be due to temporary stimulus-driven credit growth.

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The United States will account for 15 percent of Carbon dioxide pollution in 2018, an increase of about 2.5 percent.

For the USA, it was a combination of a hot summer and cold winter that required more electricity use for heating and cooling.

Gas use has been pushed up by declines in coal use and increased demand for gas in industry.

The report titled "Compilation and Synthesis" highlights that since 2010, emissions by these countries have decreased by 4.4 per cent, likely due in part to climate actions that more than offset the impact of economic and population growth.

Some scientists expressed frustration with the pace of change.

If the UK, a self-proclaimed climate progressive country, could celebrate the exploitation of a new North Sea oil field while at the same time exploring for shale gas and expanding its biggest airport, it should be no surprise that global emissions were rising, said Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester, UK.

"If this is the most important issue of our time, as leaders repeatedly say, then why aren't they acting accordingly - and showing up for the climate talks?", he said.

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