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Record-High Carbon Emissions Show ‘We Are Speeding Towards unstoppable Climate Chaos’
New research offers a global “reality check” as world leaders discuss Paris accord goals at COP24.
World leaders are meeting at the COP24 in Poland to discuss how to achieve the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals. Meanwhile, scientists and activists are warning about new research published by the Global Carbon Project on Wednesday. The report shows that carbon emissions will hit a record high this year.
“We’ve got a LOT of work to do folks. After remaining stable for 3 years, CO2 emissions have now increased two years straight,” tweeted Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann also called for electing politicians willing to take the urgent actions needed to stop this global catastrophe.
"We've got a LOT of work to do folks. After flat-lining for 3 years, CO2 emissions have now increased two years straight," tweeted Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, linking to the Washington Post's report on the new data. Mann also called for electing politicians willing to take the urgent actions that experts increasingly warn are needed to avert global catastrophe.
We've got a LOT of work to do folks. After flat-lining for 3 years, CO2 emissions have now ticked up two years straight.
This is no time for climate change denying/delaying politicians. We must vote them out & elect in their place politicians who will LEAD on climate. https://t.co/zZ71RNNAen
— Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) December 5, 2018
As the Post summarized, according to the research:
Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat. This increased hopes that the world was beginning to cut emissions. Those hopes have been ended. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.
Emissions are expected to rise to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide. This was driven by nearly 5 percent emissions growth in China and more than 6 percent in India. Many other nations throughout the world are also rising. Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1 percent.
The increase in the U.S. was driven partly by a cold winter and hot summer. This led to an increased use of heating and air conditioning. However, China's rise was driven by investment in coal-power. Researchers say reversing this trend will require climate-friendly reforms to transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture.
"This is terrible news," Andrew Jones, co-director of Climate Interactive, told the Associated Press about the project's findings. "Every year that we delay serious climate action, the Paris goals become difficult to meet."
The Paris agreement aims to keep "global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius. It will also aim to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius."
"This is the latest and most alarming warning to the world that we are heading towards unstoppable climate chaos. Sadly, President Trump doesn't care. But if he won't act, other leaders must."
—Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch
The Trump administration has withdrawn from the agreement and reversed climate regulations to help polluting industries. In response, Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter called on officials of the U.S. government to take action to stop planet-warming emissions.