US: Carbon dioxide emissions that contribute hugely to global warming are expected to rise by two percent this year, quashing all the hopes that there would be a significant reduction, as per scientists at the UN climate talks
The annual CO2 emissions from human activities is estimated at around 41 billion tonnes for 2017, so it is becoming next to impossible to keep the global warming level below 2 degree Celsius.
In 2016, the Paris Agreement called for reducing global warming below pre-industrial levels – less than 2%. Implementation of the objectives of Paris Agreement to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases is a key agenda of COP23.
COP 23 is presided by Fiji, a tiny archipelago in the south Pacific, which bears the risk of being completely submerged due to melting of ice caps and rising
AFP reported that thousands of diplomats in Bonn are deliberating on the “rulebook” for the Paris pact, which would be effected from 2020.
CO2 emissions reduced for a two-year period between 2014 and 2016 due to increased energy efficiency, more use of renewable energy sources and China reducing the usage of coal. This imbued an optimism that the goal is very much within sight and feasible by the end of this century. But the high hopes were rather premature.
Now leading scientists are opining that the probability of reaching the target of 2 degree Celsius is diminishing.
As per a study, China is the single biggest cause of fossil fuel emissions in 2017.
China alone accounts for nearly 30 percent of carbon pollution in the world.
Emissions from India, which is the world’s fourth-largest emitter after the United States and the European Union, is projected to grow by two percent, dropping from a 6.7-percent increase the previous year.
2017 CO2 emissions in the United States will drop by only 0.4 percent, compared to 1.2 percent annually over the previous decade.
For the first time in five years, coal usage in the USA is expected to rise.
The Paris Agreement is premised on voluntary and non-binding carbon-cutting pledges from almost every country in the world.
According to experts, the global economy is not making a quick switch from fossil fuels to very low carbon energy sources.
Solar and wind energy have marked a steady growth of 14% annually since 2012, but still they only account for less than 4% of global energy consumption.
The transition from dirty to clean energy has been slowed by oil, gas and coal subsidies that topped $320 million dollars (270 million euros) in 2015, as per the International Energy Agency.
Oceans and forests combined absorbed over half of the CO2 emissions from human activity, with the rest staying in the atmosphere, the study showed.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), meanwhile, released a report Monday showing that climate change now imperils one in four natural World Heritage sites, including coral reefs, glaciers, and wetlands — nearly double the number from just three years ago.