Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018

Smokestacks

Smokestacks

The study warned that the global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise for the second consecutive year in 2018, by more than 2 per cent to a new record, mainly due to sustained growth in oil and gas use.

Global carbon emissions reached an all-time high in 2018, an extraordinary watermark in Earth's history that underscores the need for faster and stronger action to address accelerating climate change, according to dozens of scientists.

The latest estimates from leading experts also indicate that the value of health gains from climate action would be approximately double the cost of mitigation policies at global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India.

Emissions in the USA, which has withdrawn from its commitment to the Paris Agreement, account for 15% of the global total, and look set to have grown about 2.5% in 2018 after several years of decline.

USA emissions are projected to grow by about 2.5 percent in 2018, despite an otherwise downward trend-and continued declines for coal-in large part due to growth in oil and natural gas and a year marked by unusually severe winter and summer weather.

Citing a recent scientific report on the dire consequences of letting average global temperatures rise beyond 1.5 degrees, Guterres urged countries to cut their emissions by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and aim for net zero emissions by 2050. That seems to have spiked emissions from heat and electricity. But the Communist Party needs unceasing economic growth to safeguard its legitimacy - so, it allowed its coal plants to increase production in 2018, for the sake of supporting (yet another) multi-trillion-dollar construction stimulus. That should help take the edge off the emissions curve, even as growth picks up in another Asian giant - India.

The finding on rich nations" emission is part of a report of the UN climate body on "progress and gaps' in pre-2020 targets of these countries. 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.

Global warming emissions targets vs actual
Global warming emissions targets vs actual

China's top planning agency said Wednesday that three areas - Liaoning in the northeast Rust Belt and the big coal-producing regions of Ningxia and Xinjiang in the northwest - had failed to meet their targets to curb energy consumption growth and improve efficiency previous year.

"Innovation must be the main driver of energy transformation", Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency.

The report comes as United Nations negotiators meet in Poland for the latest round of talks on confronting climate change.

Speed continues to be the critical factor, Peters noted.

The study said that while China and India still rely heavily on coal, the U.S. and the European Union are slowly decarbonising.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News.

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