Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by 49 per cent in the last two decades, according to the latest figures. If this continues, catastrophic climate change is inevitable
Analysis published today by the international Global Carbon Project, in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows fossil fuel emissions increased by 5.9 per cent in 2010 and by 49 per cent since 1990 – the reference year for the Kyoto protocol.
In the UK, fossil fuel CO2 emissions grew 3.8 per cent in 2010 but were 14 per cent below their 1990 levels. However, emissions from the trade of goods and services grew from 5 per cent of the emissions produced locally in 1990 to 46 per cent in 2010 – overcompensating the reductions in local emissions. Emissions in the UK were 20 per cent above their 1990 levels when emissions from trade are taken into account.
“Global CO2 emissions since 2000 are tracking the high end of the projections used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which far exceed two degrees warming by 2100,” said co-author Prof Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and professor at the University of East Anglia.