Washington D.C. [USA] : A new research suggests that global carbon dioxide emissions are on the rise again after three years of diminutive growth.
The research reveals that global emissions from all human activities will reach 41 billion tonnes in 2017, following a projected 2% rise in burning fossil fuels.
Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at University Of East Anglia Professor Corinne Le Quere said, “Global CO2 emissions appear to be going up strongly once again after a three year stable period. This is very disappointing”.
“With global CO2 emissions from human activities estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2ºC let alone 1.5ºC”, Le Quere added.
The research also says that coal use in China and the US are expected to increase this year.
In addition to that, China’s and India’s emissions are projected to grow by 3.5% and 2% respectively.
The United States’ and European Union’s emissions are projected to decline only by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively.
Continuing the streak of sad news, atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 403 parts per million in 2016, and is expected to increase by 2.5 parts per million in 2017.
However, there is one good news and that is renewable energy has increased rapidly at 14% per year over the last five years.
Dr Glen Peters of the Centre for International Climate Research in Oslo said, “The growth in 2017 emissions is unwelcome news, but it is too early to say whether it is a one-off event on a way to a global peak in emissions, or the start of a new period with upward pressure on global emissions growth.”
All of this might be an unwelcome message for policy makers and delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) in Bonn this week.
“Policy makers in Bonn are preparing for the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement, that will start in 2018 and occur every five years, and this puts immense pressure on the scientific community to develop methods and perform measurements that can truly verify changes in emissions within this five-yearly cycle,” Prof Le Quere added.
Commenting on the sad state of global climate and hoping for a better future, Le Quere said, “This year we have seen how climate change can amplify the impacts of hurricanes with more intense rainfall, higher sea levels and warmer ocean conditions favouring more powerful storms. This is a window into the future”.
“We need to reach a peak in global emissions in the next few years and drive emissions down rapidly afterwards to address climate change and limit its impacts,” he concluded.
The research was conducted by University of East Anglia and the Global Carbon Project and the findings were published today simultaneously in the journals Nature Climate Change, Earth System Science Data Discussions and Environmental Research Letters.