Quantcast
Climate
A newly built Chinese state-owned coal fired power plant on Feb. 7, 2017. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images AsiaPac

2018 Emissions on Pace to Hit ‘Record High’

As representatives from around 200 countries approach the end of first week negotiations on implementing the Paris agreement, a major new report underscores the urgency of their work.

The Global Carbon Budget 2018 was published in the journal Earth System Science Data Wednesday with the help of more than 70 authors from 53 research institutions, and the news is not good. After a three year lull in the rise of greenhouse gas emissions, emissions in 2018 are projected to shoot up by more than 2 percent, "a new record high," the report highlights from The Global Carbon Project said.


"The global rise in carbon emissions is worrying, because to deal with climate change they have to turn around and go to zero eventually," lead paper author and University of East Anglia Professor Corinne Le Quéré, told The Guardian. "We are not seeing action in the way we really need to. This needs to change quickly."

Global greenhouse gas emissions stalled from 2014 to 2016, leading to hopes that increased climate action was making a difference. But in 2017, emissions rose 1.6 percent, and the report projects they will rise a further 2.7 percent this year, which would bring global emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year, The Washington Post reported.

Emissions hikes in 2018 are expected from almost all of the major players: India's will rise 6.3 percent, China's 4.7 percent, and in the U.S. 2.5 percent. Only the EU is expected to see its emissions fall, by 0.7 percent. These four countries contributed the most to 2017's global emissions, with China contributing 27 percent, the U.S. contributing 15 percent, the EU contributing 10 percent and India contributing seven percent.

Overall, the rise in emissions was driven, literally, by an increase in car use, as well as the resurgence of coal as a fuel, The Guardian reported.

Part of the uptick in coal use was due to an economic push in China, Le Quéré told CNN.

"Coal use in China started to increase again last year and this year," Le Quéré said. "It is mostly related to China's economic stimulus in construction, and it probably won't return to the very steady growth that China had in the 2000s."

Study author Glen Peters explained on Twitter that, while renewable energy was growing exponentially, it was not yet doing so fast enough to offset the use of fossil fuels.

Le Quéré also told CNN it was important that governments invest in electric vehicles as they have in renewable energy in recent years so that the transport sector can move more quickly towards decarbonization.

The research caught the attention of participants at the ongoing COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish youth climate activist who spoke at the conference Wednesday, tweeted the news with a renewed call to action.

"Whatever our world leaders are 'doing' to reduce emissions, they are doing it wrong," she wrote.

The report authors said it was possible for emissions to fall again by 2020 if emissions from transportation, agriculture and industry are reduced, The Guardian reported. But if that doesn't happen, emissions will continue to rise until 2030.

"Unless the commitments are revised, the trajectory for the moment is for gentle emissions growth," Le Quéré told CNN. "At the moment the drivers are not for decreasing emissions globally."

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Insights/Opinion
In a recent expedition, Gaelin Rosenwaks found plastic in the Great Blue Hole in Belize. Lomingen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Inspiring Interview Urges You to Cut Plastic Consumption

2018 was the year for plastic pollution awareness. One good aspect of the plastic crisis is the fact that we can solve it. Getting involved with solutions is an easy way to have our voices heard globally.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Proterra is one of several companies manufacturing electric buses in California. Jeffrey D. Allred

Buses Are the Electric Vehicle Everyone Should Be Talking About. Here's Why.

By Adrian Martinez

Dean Florez is preparing for what he calls "one of the biggest votes I've ever taken" as an air regulator at an influential agency with national clout.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
A river cleanup in Union County, New Jersey. Paige Bollman / CC BY 2.0

Want to Help Endangered Species? Here’s How to Take Action Locally

One of the questions people ask me most often is what they can do locally to help endangered species. Well, I recently appeared on the Green Divas podcast to talk about that very subject. We discussed the horror of lawns, the danger of cars, great ways to volunteer, and other efforts you can take to make your neck of the woods a little bit safer for rare plants and wildlife.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Southern Resident killer whale mother and her calf swimming. NOAA

Washington Gov. Proposes 'Herculean Effort' to Save 74 Remaining Southern Resident Orcas

With only 74 left in the wild, the Southern Resident orca population in Puget Sound needs help now more than ever. That's why on Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's office announced "an unprecedented investment" to help boost the population as well as the Chinook salmon they eat.

"We are undertaking a herculean effort to save these iconic creatures. It will take action at every level of the environment across our entire state," Inslee said in a news release. "We need to restore the ecosystem to one that sustains orcas, salmon and the quality of life for all Washingtonians."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Amber Lamoreaux / Pexels

Major UK Supermarket to Ban Glitter From Own-Brand Products

British supermarket Waitrose announced Friday that it will ban glitter from its own-brand products by Christmas 2020.

The upscale retailer said its labels, wrap, flowers, plants and other single-use items will either be glitter-free or use an environmentally friendly alternative.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights/Opinion
Natural pine trees can liven up Christmas and the environment when they are replanted after. Cavan Images / Getty Images

5 Ways to Have a Green Christmas (and Help the Planet)

It's pretty common this time of year to hear the song White Christmas, but at EcoWatch we want folks to have a green Christmas. With a couple of tips, you can make sure your winter festivities have a smaller carbon footprint. Here are five ways you can have a more environmentally friendly holiday.

1. Give Green Gifts
Share your love of the planet by giving gifts that are good for the environment. Need ideas? The EcoWatch staff rounded up their favorite gifts, and USA Today highlights items such as iTunes gift cards, reusable straws, organic wine and non-toxic cosmetics in their story about purchasing green presents.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Kingborough Council

Tasmania Builds Road From Single-Use Plastics, Glass and Printer Toner

A local government in Tasmania found a clever way to recycle single-use plastics and other landfill-bound waste by building a new road.

The 500-meter (1,640-foot) stretch outside the city of Hobart is made of approximately 173,600 plastic bags and packaging, as well as 82,500 glass bottle equivalents diverted from landfill, the Kingborough council announced Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights/Opinion
Alchemy Goods / Bambaw / LuminAID

EcoWatch's Favorite Green Gifts for the Holidays

The holidays are coming and if you're stuck on what to give your eco-conscious friend or relative, we've got you covered. At EcoWatch, we're big fans of homemade presents, products that actually help the planet, and putting our dollars towards a good cause. This year, our staff has rounded up some of the best green gifts we've given and received, as well as the items on our wish list.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!