Economy

Record high Carbon dioxide emissions delay global peak

Record high Carbon dioxide emissions delay global peak

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.

China was is being pointed to as the main culprit, with projected fossil fuel emissions growth of 3.5 per cent.

The report said the global emissions of Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry were projected to rise by about 2% (with an uncertainty range of just between 0.8% and 3%) compared with the preceding year.

"The slowdown in emissions growth from 2014 to 2016 was always a delicate balance, and the likely 2 percent increase in 2017 clearly demonstrates that we can't take the recent slowdown for granted", Robbie Andrew, a co-author of the study and a senior researcher at Norway's CICERO Center for International Climate Research, said in a statement.

India's emissions are expected to grow at a relatively lesser pace than in the previous decade. In the United States, some of that decline is likely due to a slowdown in the use of natural gas, but some is also due to the fact that coal use is projected to increase for the first time in five years.

'Global CO2 emissions appear to be going up strongly once again after a three year stable period, ' said lead researcher Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

The researchers said there are uncertainties in our ability to estimate emissions changes - Glen Peters of the CICERO Center for International Climate Research and lead author on a study said it could take up to 10 years to independently verify a change in emissions based on measurements of Carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations.

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¨"The plateau of a year ago was not peak emissions after all", the Global Carbon Project, a group of 76 scientists in 15 countries, wrote of the findings. "This is a window into the future", Le Quéré said.

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

He added that it was too early to be confident about the precise figure for China, which may range between 0.7 and 5.4% emissions growth.

It estimates that 37 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide will be emitted from burning fossil fuels, the highest total so far.

Furthermore, renewable energy generation across the world has increased at 14 per cent a year over the past five years, albeit it from a very low base, the report noted. "We do not know if the increase in emissions in 2017 is a one-off, or represents changes leading to more sustained upward pressure on emissions in the years ahead". "This would essentially mean that we need to have policies to lock in the gains we have had in the last few years", Peters said.

The news arrives as hundreds of countries enter the second week of the climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, where leaders will discuss how to implement the standards set during the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

"China generates almost 30% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and the ups and downs of the Chinese economy leave a signature on global emissions growth", said Jan Ivar Korsbakken, senior researcher at Cicero and co-author.


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