Global emissions surged to record high in 2017 — but in the US, they dropped
Carbon dioxide emissions climbed 1.6% in 2017, with both emerging and developed economies contributing to the increase — and coal is still over-used
London — Two years after 200 or so nations forged a new UN deal to protect the climate, output of the gases blamed for global warming surged to a record.
Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use climbed 1.6% in 2017, with both emerging and developed economies contributing to the increase, according to BP data published on Wednesday. In the US, which intends to withdraw from the UN’s Paris accord, greenhouse-gas output fell for a third year.
Emissions are rising in the run-up to the 2020 start of the Paris deal, which pushed all countries, rich and poor, to make reductions in fossil-fuel use. As emerging-nation economic growth accelerates, countries remain divided about who should finance projects to limit pollution and how deep national pledges should go.
The biggest advances in emissions were in emerging nations, with a 4.4% jump in India and a 1.6% gain in China. Carbon dioxide output also rose in Brazil, Qatar and Russia, while Turkey’s jumped by 13%. In the EU, home to the world’s biggest carbon market, emissions from energy use advanced 1.5%. Greenhouse-gas output also rose in Canada.
BP’s data is among the first that provides an estimate of national emissions output for the year. Official data is published later and covers a wider range of greenhouse gases.
While the use of renewables has surged, it’s still not displacing coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Coal’s share of power-generation globally has been little changed over the past three decades, according to the BP data.
Programmes that put a price on carbon will cover only about 20% of global emissions by 2020, according to the World Bank’s State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2018 report. Prices in programmes that do exist aren’t high enough to keep temperatures from rising more than 2°C, the main target cited in the 2015 Paris accord.