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Global Carbon Emissions Set To Reach Record 36 Billion Tons In 2013

By Countercurrents.org

20 November 2013

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels are set to rise again in 2013, reaching a record high of 36 billion tonnes, informed the Global Carbon Project.

The 2.1 percent rise projected for 2013 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 61 percent above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol.

The Global Carbon Budget reveals that the biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions in 2012 were China (27 percent), the US (14 percent), the EU (10 percent), and India (6 percent). The projected rise for 2013 comes after a similar rise of 2.2 percent in 2012.

The rise in fossil fuel emissions in 2012 and 2013 was slower compared to the average 2.7 percent of the past 10 years. Growth rates in CO2 for major emitting countries in 2012 were China (5.9 percent) and India (7.7 percent). Meanwhile the US ' emissions declined by 3.7 percent and Europe declined by 1.8 percent.

Emissions per person in China matched figures in the EU at 7 tonnes in 2012. The US is still among the highest emitter per person at 16 tonnes. By comparison people in India produce a carbon footprint of only 1.8 tonnes.

Most emissions are from coal (43 percent), then oil (33 percent), gas (18 percent), cement (5.3 percent) and gas flaring (0.6 percent). The growth in coal in 2012 accounted for 54 percent of the growth in fossil fuel emissions.

The GCP is co-led by researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Prof Corinne Le Quéré of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the UEA led the Global Carbon Budget report.

She said: “Governments meeting in Warsaw this week need to agree on how to reverse this trend. Emissions must fall substantially and rapidly if we are to limit global climate change to below two degrees. Additional emissions every year cause further warming and climate change."

“We are communicating new science,” said Prof Le Quéré. “Everyone can explore their own emissions, and compare them with their neighboring countries - past, present, and future.”

Alongside the latest Carbon Budget is the launch of the Carbon Atlas - a new online platform showing the world's biggest carbon emitters more clearly than ever before.

The Carbon Atlas reveals the biggest carbon emitters of 2012, what is driving the growth in China 's emissions, and where the UK is outsourcing its emissions. Users can also compare EU emissions and see which countries are providing the largest environmental services to the rest of the world by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

CO2 emissions from deforestation and other land-use change added 8 percent to the emissions from burning fossil fuels. Cumulative emissions of CO2 since 1870 are set to reach 2015 billion tonnes in 2013 – with 70 percent caused by burning fossil fuels and 30 percent from deforestation and other land-use changes.

Prof Pierre Friedlingstein from the University of Exeter said: “We have exhausted about 70 percent of the cumulative emissions that keep global climate change likely below two degrees. In terms of CO2 emissions, we are following the highest climate change scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September.”

Story Source:

The story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia .


University of East Anglia (2013, November 18). Global carbon emissions set to reach record 36 billion tons in 2013. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2013 , from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/11/131118193127.htm




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