According to a study, the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased significantly this year and should reach a new record.
In particular, because more oil and gas would be burned, the emissions in 2018 according to a projection increased by more than two percent, warned the research network „Global Carbon Project“ on Wednesday. Already in 2017, the output had risen by 1.6 percent, after he had remained almost at the same, albeit high, level for three years. At that time, scientists had hoped for a turnaround.
At the World Climate Change Conference in Katowice (Kattowice), representatives of nearly 200 countries are currently negotiating rules for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below two degrees and preferably to 1.5 degrees – compared to pre-industrial times 1750th
„The increase in emissions in 2017 could still be considered as a runaway, but in 2018 the increase is even stronger and it becomes crystal clear that the world is failing in its duty to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement of 2015,“ said Glen Peters of the Center for Europe International climate and environmental research in Oslo. Climate protectors had hoped that economic growth and increased emissions would be globally decoupled.
However, 76 experts from 15 countries now predict an increase in emissions of between 1.8 and 3.7 percent. According to the research network, this year’s projection is published in the journals „Nature“, „Earth System Science Data“ and „Environmental Research Letters“.
It is not enough to promote the development of renewable energy, said study author Corinne Le Quéré, the director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia. „The effort to dispense with fossil fuels must be extended to the whole economy.“
According to the scientists, the energy requirements for cars and trucks, aviation and shipping are growing too fast for the switch to renewable energies to compensate. In addition, the use of coal as an energy source in 2018 is likely to have increased. The main driver is the increasing energy demand in China and India. Accordingly, CO2 emissions in the USA have also risen this year, but are likely to fall again in the coming years. In the EU, which accounts for ten percent of global CO2 emissions, emissions dropped by between 2.6 and 1.3 percent, according to the projection.
According to the Global Carbon Project, the countries with the highest greenhouse gas emissions are China, the United States, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Canada. The 28 EU states together rank third behind China and the USA.
The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is projected to increase further in 2018 to an average of 407 ppm (particles per million particles). According to the World Weather Organization (WMO), in 2017 it rose from 403.3 ppm to 405.5. CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas and is mainly caused by the combustion of coal, oil and gas, cement production and other industrial processes. The CO2 concentration is now more than 45 percent higher than in pre-industrial times, ie before 1750. Since then, the average temperature has increased by about one degree.