A group of researchers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway, spend each year tediously compiling the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases humans emit into the environment. This year, their Global Carbon Budget Report projects that carbon dioxide emissions continued growing this year, although by a lower-than-standard amount of around 0.6%, reaching a brand new record high.
In comparison with the huge carbon emission numbers in the early 2000s, when emissions jumped by 3% annually, this is a small increase. However, critically, the 2019 emissions trend illustrates that global society’s carbon emissions aren’t dropping, haven’t even peaked, and certainly do not bode well for meeting the U.N.’s ambitious target for controlling Global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures, agreed upon on the Paris climate agreement.
“Climate policies are far from sufficient to even cut back emissions, let alone be per Paris!” said Glen Peters, the research director at CICERO.
“It’s not enough to fulfill the objectives of the Paris Settlement,” agreed Bob Kopp, a climate scientist and director of Rutgers University’s Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
Though global coal use plunged this year, mainly due to strong rains in power-hungry India leading to a surge of clean hydropower from dams, a “strong progress” in the burning of natural gas and oil led to sustained, and growing, carbon emissions, Peters stated.
To curb climate change, carbon emissions should fall to the holy grail of “net-zero,” Kopp said.