Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Global carbon emissions to rise again in 2017

Global carbon emissions to rise again in 2017

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UAE) and the Global Carbon Project (GCP) published research this week simultaneously in the journals Nature Climate Change (verification), Earth System Science Data Discussions (the full carbon cycle), and Environmental Research Letters (recent trends), which reveals that global emissions from all human activities will hit 41 Gt (gigatonnes) CO2 in 2017, following a 2% increase in burning fossil fuels which now reaches 36.8 Gt CO2.

"Climate change acts fast and is not sparing the finest treasures of our planet", said IUCN director general Inger Andersen.

The landmark Paris Agreement from 2015, now literally signed by every nation in the world except the U.S. under Trump's Administration, aims to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius past the average recorded at the start of the industrial revolution.

Global carbon dioxide emissions are on track to rise slightly this year after three years of staying flat, new research shows.

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The 2017 carbon budget, now in its 12th year, says global carbon dioxide emissions from all human activities like fossil fuels, industry and change of land-use will reach around 41 billion tonnes carbon dioxide this year. "It's our hope that this pledge inspires others to join us in setting targets, and provides confidence to governments, companies and individuals that it's possible for entities to help reach the goals set in the Paris climate agreement". China accounts for roughly a quarter of all man-made industrial emissions, so any upward or downward swing in the nation is sure to have a global influence. The country also plans to sell millions of electric vehicles in the years ahead. This year, however, emissions in China are expected to rise by 3.5 percent, driven by heavy infrastructure works aimed to boost the economy and unfavorable rain patterns that reduced hydropower output.

There is also some good news.

Still, overall global carbon emissions are unlikely to decrease in 2018, according the researchers. The report found that 29 percent of UNESCO natural sites faced "significant" threats, and seven percent - including the Everglades National Park in the United States and Lake Turkana in Kenya - had a "critical" outlook. In many developed countries, the rate of emission reductions has fallen considerably compared to the start of the decade.

"The past three years were quite exceptional in so far as that in the whole record, it's the first time that we saw emissions not growing at the same time as the global economy was growing quite strongly", he said.Worldwide, 21 countries, including the US, Denmark and France, have reduced their Carbon dioxide emissions over the last ten years while achieving economic growth.

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USA emissions are projected to decline by 0.4% this year, more slowly than the decline of 1.2% per year averaged over the last decade because of a return to growth in coal use. Among them, the United States is expected to see a 0.4 percent decline in emissions this year, and the European Union 0.2 percent. It's not clear how long this will last, as the country scrambles to offer electricity to its 300 million citizens still living in the dark.

The report comes as 197 nations are meeting in Bonn in Germany for the annual United Nations climate negotiations, this one being COP-23.

Although the figures are not final, they are agreed by more than 70 of the world's leading climate experts from more than 50 institutions. This is a significant setback to efforts to slow the speed at which the Earth is warming, and shows the fragility of the global climate treaty, the Paris Agreement, scientists say. The Paris Agreement is larger and far more important than the whims of any person.

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