Business

Carbon Emissions Set to Rise in 2017

Share
Carbon emissions back on the rise

Global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have risen again after a three-year hiatus.

But researchers predicted yesterday that Carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 would jump by 2 per cent to an all-time high of 41 billion tonnes after the U.S. and China burned significantly more coal after three years of using less.

"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.

In 2017, Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to grow by 2% (0.8% to 3%).

The increase follows three years of flat emissions.

Despite the noted increase in emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels, the United States' official position at the Bonn climate talks has been to support the use of fossil fuels as solutions to climate change.

Data from the Department of Environment and Energy shows Australia's emissions have been increasing since 2013. 'This is very disappointing'.

Australia has committed to reducing emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

"The world is still reducing its emissions intensity by about 1.5% a year", he says, referring to the amount of Carbon dioxide emitted per dollar of GDP.

Dr Canadell is also concerned that Australia is running out of time to reverse the emissions trajectory.

"This demonstrates that we can not be complacent that the emissions would stay flat", Glen P Peters, Center for International Climate Research in Oslo (CICERO), said at a press conference in Bonn, where the current round of climate talks are under way.

Although Professor Jotzo said there is a chance that Australia's 2017 emissions may show a slight decline due to the closing of the Hazelwood power station, this will likely be offset by a higher sales of petrol during the same period.

USA emissions were set to decline by 0.4 percent in 2017, a smaller fall than in recent years, also reflecting more burning of coal.

In the USA and European Union, on the other hand, emissions came down by 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

"With global Carbon dioxide 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.

India's emissions are expected to grow at a relatively lesser pace than in the previous decade. Those from all human activities (fossil fuels, industry, and land-use change) will reach around 41bn tonnes, similar to the record high in 2015.

China's emissions are projected to grow by 3.5% (0.7% to 5.4%), driven by a rise in coal consumption (GDP up 6.8%).

But as the Trump administration continues to push fossil fuel use at home and overseas, the Global Carbon Budget's scientists warn that the world is running out of time to tackle climate change.

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.

Professor Le Quéré said: "The Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement will occur every five years, and this puts vast pressure on the scientific community to develop methods and perform measurements that can truly verify changes in emissions within this five-yearly cycle".

Share