Global emissions of carbon dioxide mainly from fossil fuel burning will rise 2.7 percent in 2018, scientists said Wednesday, signalling a world “completely off course” in the fight against climate change.
Last year, CO2 pollution increased by 1.6 percent after a three-year hiatus that raised hopes manmade greenhouse gas emissions had finally peaked despite an expanding world economy.
“This growth in global CO2 emissions puts the goals set out in the Paris Agreement in jeopardy,” lead author Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre of Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said in a statement.
“It is not enough to support renewables,” she added. “Efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy.”
The findings, co-authored by a team of nearly 80 scientists, were publishedin the journal Open Access Earth System Science Data.
Rapid deployment of solar and wind power, along with gains in energy efficiency, have been outpaced by growth in demand for freight, personal transport, shipping, and aviation, the research showed.
The 2015 Paris climate treaty calls for capping global warming at “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), a goal that scientists say could soon slip out of our grasp if planet-warming continues to climb.
Even a 2C ceiling above pre-industrial levels may not be enough to avoid catastrophic impacts, the UN’s climate science panel concluded in a landmark report in October.