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December 6, 2018 -- Global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018, dashing hopes a plateau seen in recent years would be maintained. Emissions’ growth in China, India and the U.S. is largely to blame.
CO2 missions are estimated to have risen 2.7 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to three studies released Wednesday from the Global Carbon Project , an international scientific collaboration of academics, governments and industry that tracks greenhouse gas emissions. The calculations, announced during negotiations to put the 2015 Paris climate accord into effect, puts some of the landmark agreement's goals nearly out of reach, scientists said.
The studies concluded that this year the world would spew 37.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, up from 39.8 billion tonnes last year. The margin of error is about one percentage point on either side.
The Global Carbon Project uses government and industry reports to come up with final emission figures for 2017 and projections for 2018 based on the four biggest polluters: China, the United States, India and the European Union.
The U.S., which had been steadily decreasing its carbon pollution, showed a significant rise in emissions — up 2.5 percent — for the first time since 2013. China, the globe's biggest carbon emitter, saw its largest increase since 2011: 4.6 percent.
For the U.S., it was a combination of a hot summer and cold winter that required more electricity use for heating and cooling. For China, it was an economic stimulus that pushed coal-powered manufacturing.
Scientists say global emissions must start to fall by 2020 if the world is to meet the temperature goals of the Paris agreement.