Science

China and USA greenhouse gas levels to new highs

China and USA greenhouse gas levels to new highs

In a comment published yesterday in Nature, dozens of co-authors-led by Christiana Figueres, a former executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change-suggested that decarbonizing the global economy by 2050 may still be within reach.

In total, global emissions from fossil fuels are predicted to reach 37.1 billion tons of Carbon dioxide in 2018, a 2 percent increase from 2017. 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.

"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. "The findings also highlight the benefit of supportive government policies in limiting climate change to 2C", she added. Before 2018, American emissions had been in decline for several years (although, some of that dip was a function of the USA outsourcing its carbon footprint to other countries).

"I'm not that surprised", said Alex Trembath of the Breakthrough Institute research center, who was not involved in the research.

According to the Washington Post, China, India, and the United States all contributed to the rise in carbon emissions. Most of that growth can be traced to an exceptionally hot summer and cold winter.

In the United States, coal continued to give way to cleaner natural gas. After years of declines, emissions are projected to have increased approximately 2.5 percent this year. "We are really not making a dent in emissions from transport, in spite of the fact that the technology for electric cars is there".

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In a broader sense, reversing the upward trend in global emissions comes down to two major challenges, Peters suggested-strengthening reductions in places where emissions are already declining, and reducing growth in places where emissions are still climbing.

Noting that the "developed countries are progressing towards their 2020 targets but gaps remain", the report of the UNFCCC said the total greenhouse gas emissions were projected to be roughly at the same level in 2020 as in 2016 unless these developed countries take stronger actions to keep themselves on declining emissions pathway.

"Innovation must be the main driver of energy transformation", Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency. "We see China- and India-like growth numbers, 5 to 10 percent annual GDP growth, coming from a lot of sub-Saharan African countries", he said.

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

With just 1°C of warming so far, Earth is blighted by raging wildfires, extreme drought and mega-storms made worse by rising sea-levels.