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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Global Carbon Emissions To Hit Record 36 Billion Tonnes In 2013

This entry came from AECB's Newsletter December 2013:
Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels are set to rise by more than 2% to reach a record high of 36 billion tonnes, according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project. The 2.1% rise projected for 2013 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 61% above 1990 levels. Co-led by researchers from the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA), the 2.1% rise projected for 2013 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 61% above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol.
In addition to the release of today's figures, the Global Carbon Project has launched a new online platform, which provides more detail on the world's biggest carbon emitters. The platform reveals that the biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions in 2012 were China (27%), the US (14%), the European Union (10%), and India (6%). The projected rise for 2013 comes after a similar rise of 2.2%in 2012. However, the rise in fossil fuel emissions in 2012 and 2013 was slower compared to the average 2.7% of the past 10 years. Growth rates in CO2 for major emitting countries in 2012 were China (5.9%) and India (7.7%). Meanwhile, US emissions declined by 3.7% and Europe declined by 1.8%.
While emissions per person in China matched figures in the EU at seven 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 just 1.8 tonnes. Turning to the source of emissions, the research found that most emissions are from coal (43%), then oil (33%), gas (18%), cement (5.3%) and gas flaring (0.6%). The growth in coal in 2012 accounted for 54% of the growth in fossil fuel emissions.
The figures also showed that CO2 emissions from deforestation and other land-use change added 8% to the emissions from burning fossil fuels. Cumulative emissions of CO2 since 1870 are set to reach 2015 billion tonnes in 2013 - with 70% caused by burning fossil fuels and 30% from deforestation and other land-use changes.
Professor Pierre Friedlingstein from the University of Exeter said: "We have exhausted about 70% 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."
Davius footnote: It does appear bleak at times - yet everyone of us have a key part to play in lowering emissions. You may feel helpless in your activities to reduce your burden - yet the smallest things done on a personal/individual/local/community basis will have some positive knock on effect to improve our prospects of reducing our carbon burden.
What can you do?