Carbon Dioxide Emissions on Steady Upward Trend
Written by Paul Homewood
Carbon Tracker have calculated some provisional data for global carbon dioxide emissions this year. They show a rise of 0.6%, slightly slower than the last two years, but this is largely due to a slowdown in economic growth.
From Voice of America:
Carbon dioxide emissions rose in 2019 for the third straight year, according to the latest Global Carbon Project estimate, and do not look set to fall before the end of the next decade.
This is more bad news for United Nations negotiators in Madrid to consider as they aim to hammer out rules for implementing the 2015 Paris international agreement on limiting climate change.
This year’s 0.6% growth in CO2 emissions is slower than the previous two years. Steep declines in coal use in the United States and Europe, combined with weaker global economic growth, were behind the slowdown, the report says.
But slowing growth is not enough. A recent United Nations report said emissions must decline by at least 2.7% per year to keep the planet from overheating.
Emissions look likely to continue in the wrong direction for years to come, according to Stanford University Earth scientist Rob Jackson, chair of the Global Carbon Project, the international research consortium that published the findings Tuesday in Earth System Science Data.
“I am, I have to confess, not very optimistic that in a five-to-year timescale, we’ll see a peak in emissions,” he said. “I hope I’m wrong. I really hope I’m wrong.”
The figure of 2.7% pa relates to the 2C warming target. In reality, empirical data suggests that global temperatures won’t go beyond that level by 2100 anyway, even if emissions do not fall.
But, according to the UN, to keep temperature rise below 1.5C (measured from pre-industrial), emissions would need to be 55% lower than in 2018 by 2030. Clearly a drop of 5.5% a year is pie in the sky, even if emissions stopped increasing now.
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