Carbon emissions forecast to hit record levels this year

A new study says carbon emissions resumed their rise in 2018 [File:Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo]

Global emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide have risen substantially and are expected to hit record levels this year, scientists have projected in a new report.

After three years of almost no growth, carbon emissions from fossil fuels and industry are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to an annual report by the Global Carbon Project, an international scientific collaboration of academics, governments and industry that tracks emissions of greenhouse gases.

The release of the report on Wednesday comes as envoys from nearly 200 nations meet in Poland for the United Nations’ annual climate change conference to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Curbing carbon emissions is the single most important pledge of the historic 2015 agreement, which aims to combat climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century to between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees Celsius.

The World Meteorological Organization said last week that 2018 was “on course to be the fourthwarmest year on record” and pointed out that the 20 warmest years on record have all occurred within the past 22 years.

According to Wednesday’s report, the world is producing 37.1 bn metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, up from 36.2 bn metric tonnes in 2017. The margin of error is about one percentage point on either side.

China produced 27 percent of global emissions last year, followed by the United States with 15 percent, the European Union with 10 percent and India at seven percent.

Fossil fuel emissions are estimated to grow this year by 4.7 percent in China, 6.3 percent in India and 2.5 percent in the US and decrease by 0.7 percent in the EU.

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