Global carbon emissions to rise after staying flat for three years: report

Coal, by Flicker user oatsy40 (Used Under CC License)

Coal, by Flicker user oatsy40 (Used Under CC License)

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Here’s some not-good news: After three years of minimal growth, global emissions of carbon dioxide are on the rise.

So much so that we’re looking at new record highs, according to the Global Carbon Project.

It’s due largely to China burning more coal than it has in previous years.

CHECK OUT: Global carbon emissions have been flat for three years now

“These numbers suggest we still don’t have sufficient policies in place to prevent global emissions from rising, let alone to force them downward,” Glen Peters, a researcher at the Center for International Climate Research in Norway, told The New York Times.

Peters helped crunch the numbers in the annual report.

China alone creates about 30 percent of all CO2 emissions worldwide, but in this case, the rise is not all China’s fault.

Carbon-dioxide emissions in India are on the rise too. Together, those two countries are more than enough to offset reductions that have been taking place in Europe and the U.S. over the last few years.

The pace of reductions in fossil-fuel emissions have slowed down in the U.S. as well.

Over the last 10 years, the average drop was 1.2 percent a year. This year the analysts say it will only be about 0.4 percent, according to the Times.

DON’T MISS: Renewable energy to hit 9 percent of U.S. total in 2017

China’s efforts at reducing its CO2 output includes a promise, as part of the Paris climate pact, that its overall emissions will peak by 2030 at the latest.

This includes a huge push for more electric vehicles, underscored by the news in September that the country is now assessing in which year it will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles altogether.

Other countries and states are considering similar moves in various years, including Norway, The Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.

In the U.S., California is also expected to plan for such a ban. The state has been a leader in emission reduction for more than half a century.

The challenge, of course, is that cutting carbon emissions by a few percentage points is just the beginning.

The world will have to cut CO2 emissions by 80 percent to avoid the 2-degree global temperature average increase that global warming experts say could trigger catastrophic climate effects.

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