After three years of nearly 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 worldwide scientific collaboration of academics, governments and industry that tracks emissions of greenhouse gases.
It also said that although global coal use is still 3 per cent lower than its historical high, it is expected to grow in 2018, driven by growth in energy consumption in China and India.
A strong climate and health call to action for COP24 was issued by organizations representing over 5 million doctors, nurses and public health professionals and 17,000 hospitals; from over 120 countries. Emissions from the United States, the second-biggest emitter, were likely to reach 5.4 billion tonnes, a rise of 2.5 per cent from previous year.
In the list of 43, Turkey reported the highest increase in its total emission both in percentage (135%) and absolute (285 million tonnes of CO2) terms from 1990 to 2016.
The trend indicates that if they fail to cut their emissions more drastically by 2020, the burden of mitigation will fall on developing countries, including India, post-2020 despite their much lower per capita emission as compared to the U.S. and 28 European Union (EU) nations.
India's emissions account for 7% of the global output and are projected to rise as the "economy booms".
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.
"CO2 emissions are responsible for most of the climate change that has occurred and will occur". In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. India's growth in emissions was in fact the maximum for any major emitter.
The report provides suggestions for the governments on how to deal with the climate change. "Fossil energy needs to be phased out and efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy".
In nations where emissions are still rising, often in response to economic growth and improved living standards, the challenges are often greater.
"Innovation must be the main driver of energy transformation", Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency. The report notes that renewables are on track to produce half the world's electricity by 2030. Actions to meet the Paris goals would cost around one per cent of the global GDP. What's needed now is continued policy growth that will "ensure that the exponential curve of solutions outpaces that of climate impacts, and drives net emissions to zero by 2050", they write.
Morawiecki said at the conference's Global Climate Action event that, "comparing the various starting points of different countries", Poland boasted "achievements in reducing carbon emissions in the context of the Kyoto Protocol".
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News.