CO2 Begins to Rise After Three Years of Stable Levels

A new study indicates that CO2 begins to rise again after statistics have shown steady levels for three years. On November 13th, scientists indicate that industrial emissions of carbon dioxide might raise even more, reaching new records. This can only show that we are far from achieving the Paris agreement goal to limit the effects of global warming.

The global emissions of fossil fuels that several industries use may increase by 2% over the levels registered during this last year. The increase in CO2 emissions is driven by a rebound in the use of coal in China. This country is known as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Numerous nations have reduced their CO2 emissions in the last few years. Nevertheless, the rising air pollution in developing countries has completely whipped out the benefic effects of the reduction.

The Global Carbon Project reported the new figures, publishing the new research in three different scientific journals. Specialists have discussed the new study during an international conference in Bonn, Germany. There, the countries which signed the 2015 Paris agreement discussed several methods to cut down on dangerous gas emissions and stop climate change.

CO2 begins to rise, triggering devastating effects

When signing the Paris agreement, all the nations present there promised to keep the increase of global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. In order for us to achieve this goal, we should cut down on global emissions coming from trucks and cars, factories, power plants, deforestation and land use change. If these levels do not slowly decline to 0 until the end of the century, then there will be no hope for us.

Glen Peters is a researcher at the Center for International Climate Research in Norway. He stated that the new results from the latest study indicate that we still do not have enough severe policies to prevent global emissions from increasing. Furthermore, he said that we are unable to enforce enough policies to diminish these dangerous greenhouse gas emissions’ levels.

The study shows that from the beginning of the 21st century up to this point, the global carbon dioxide levels raised more than 2% per year. This happened due to the fact that rapidly industrializing countries like India and China have developed multiple coal plants. Hence, they were able to put millions of new cars on the road. Here is the major link between the growth of dangerous emissions and economic growth.

Nevertheless, between 2014 and 2016, scientists revealed an unusual fact. Their statistics indicated that the industrial emissions were finally kept under control since they have barely grown during this time span. Some people started thinking whether the cost reductions in renewable energy together with the efforts to annihilate climate change in China, Europe, and the U.S. have kept under control the global emissions.

Smoke comes out of a public bus waiting at a traffic light

In India, the powerful growth and the investment in industrialization triggers high levels of CO2 emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions heavily pollute the atmosphere

Even if we might wish to celebrate this, the statistics show that this year’s greenhouse gas emissions levels indicated a rebound. Specialists argue that China accounts for over one-quarter of the industrial greenhouse gases in the world. This clearly has a negative effect on global trends. The coal use in China became less active because the industrial growth decelerated. In this way, the country switched to a service-oriented economy.

State officials in Beijing promised to deal with air pollution in cities, canceling all the plans on developing new power plants. They decided to invest more money in renewable energy, like solar, wind and nuclear power. Despite all these promises from last year, the statistics indicate that the greenhouse gas emissions increased by 3.5% this year.

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Apparently, local governments decided to invest in construction projects and infrastructure to trigger growth. Lauri Myllyvirta analyzes China’s energy trends for Greenpeace. He argues that at the same time the disrupted rainfall patterns diminished the output from the hydropower dams of the country.

Regarding the Paris agreement, China suggested that the peak of its overall emissions would be in 2030. Nevertheless, the exact timing of this peak is not at all certain. Peters also argues that the growth of industrial emissions in China seems to be slowing down by the end of this year.

More countries should invest in renewable energy

Now, if we were to turn to India, this is a poor, but fast-developing country. The carbon dioxide emissions in the country increased by 2% this year. Hence, comparing this with the 6% growth registered on an annual basis over the last ten years, the value from this year is a better one. During the last decade, the level of emissions was so high due to economic fluctuations. Apparently, they are temporary.

Nevertheless, specialists still scratch their heads in an attempt to find out whether India can continue developing without using the same amount of coal as China did in the 2000s. The Global Carbon Project reveals that about 21 countries reached to significantly diminish their emissions while also growing their economies over the last ten years.

Some of these countries are France, Germany, the United States and Sweden. They have invested more money in developing cleaner sources of energy. Then, they have used them to further develop their industries. Scientists raise awareness regarding the fact that these wealthier countries started decelerating the emissions reduction lately.

Statistics projected that the fossil-fuel emissions in the U.S. would drop by about 0.4% this year. However, they could have obtained even better results since the average decline over the past decade was of 1.2% every year. The use of renewable energy sources like solar power and wind power determined the annihilation of hundreds of coal plants.

Summing up

The new study raises alertness, indicated that CO2 begins to rise after a few years with stable levels. The fast development of certain countries and their industries determined such a high growth in greenhouse gas emissions. All these dangerous gases fuel the terrible effects of climate change, and global temperature continues to rise due to the CO2 amount in the atmosphere. This planet’s safety hangs by a hair thread.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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