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Global Emissions Are Set for Another Record This Year

Global emissions from the combustion of hydrocarbons such as oil and gas are set for another record this year, the Global Carbon Budget report has warned.

“Fossil CO2 emissions are falling in some regions, including Europe and the USA, but rising overall – and the scientists say global action to cut fossil fuels is not happening fast enough to prevent dangerous climate change,” the report’s authors said.

Released during the COP28 conference, the report said that global emissions will reach 36.8 billion tons this year, which would be a 1.1% increase in 2022, the report’s authors said. The report is produced by a group of scientific institutions led by the University of Exeter.

These are the emissions generated directly from the combustion of hydrocarbons. When emissions from land use are added, the total rises to 40.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide. This total has plateaued, the authors of the report said, due to a decline in land use emissions from activities including deforestation.

Emissions from oil, gas, and coal, however, are on the rise, driven by the leading economies of the developing world. China’s emissions were on the rise after it reopened its economy following pandemic lockdowns, the report said. India, on the other hand, saw its emissions rise because demand for energy was rising faster than India was adding low-carbon energy sources to its grid, the authors also said.

"It now looks inevitable we will overshoot the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement," Pierre Friedlingstein, lead author of the report and Chair of Mathematical Modelling of the Climate System at the University of Exeter, said.

"Leaders meeting at COP28 will have to agree rapid cuts in fossil fuel emissions even to keep the 2C target alive," Friedlingstein added in comments included in the press release detailing the findings of the report.

COP28 has a special focus on hydrocarbons but few believe this would lead to any meaningful agreement for phasing these out.


By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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