Friday, 24 November, 2017

CO2 rise Rise may just be a blip in downwards trajectory

Coal's technology problem, and vice versa 19 Countries Vowed to Phase Out Coal. But They Don't Use Much Coal.
Melissa Porter | 13 November, 2017, 18:37

Researchers presented the information at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. "This is very disappointing".

"With global Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2ºC, let alone 1.5ºC, she said".

The conclusion is part of the 2017 Global Carbon Budget, released here on Monday on sidelines of the ongoing United Nations climate conference (COP23).

Yang Fuqiang, senior adviser for the NRDC China Program, said the eventual carbon emissions of 2017 could be lower than forecast, as authorities have put on a large-scale production curb on industries such as steel and cement to combat air pollution during winter months.

Researchers had hoped global carbon emissions had peaked after three stable years - but a new projection shatters those hopes.

The longer nations wait, the more they will have to slash emissions, wrote Robert Jackson, a Stanford University earth science professor, and six colleagues in Environmental Research Letters. "That's a real concern". The US emissions are projected to decline by 0.4% this year when its GDP will grow by about 2.2%.

Energy experts attributed the rise in China's emissions to a revival of carbon-intensive industries as the country's economy grew faster than expected, but added they expected the growth to be "transient". It is, therefore, significantly less that the 6% per year averaged emission growth over the previous decade (2007-16).

"There was a big push to sign the Paris agreement on climate change but there is a feeling that not very much has happened since, a bit of slackening", she continues.

But the publication by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) of its annual analysis of trends in the global carbon cycle, the authors say, highlights how precarious the recent slowdown in global emissions growth really is. Its scientists estimate how it flows among five major sources and "sinks", or areas that absorb carbon: industrial emitters, emissions from gutting forests and other changes to land, the atmosphere itself, oceans, and land. India will, however, report lesser emissions growth (2%) while the country is expected to record nearly same GDP growth (6.7%) during the period. Similarly, the European Union emissions are expected to decline by 0.2% in 2017 when this group of 28 nations would collectively record 2.3% increase in their GDP.

The Global Carbon Budget is produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries working under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project (GCP).

The 196-nation Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, calls for capping global warming at 2 C below pre-industrial levels.

GCP is sponsored by Future Earth and the World Climate Research Programme.

The jump in carbon emissions that drive global warming is a "giant leap backwards for humankind", according to Amy Luers, executive director of Future Earth, a global research initiative. This means prioritising providing access to clean reliable energy to the hundreds of millions of people across the world without access to what many of us take for granted every day - electricity.

There is also some good news. Technologies like wind and solar power have expanded across the globe by about 14% annually in recent years, according to the report. "That transition is being driven by the low cost of new renewable infrastructure, and it's being driven by new consumer preferences". Emissions in the remaining countries, representing about 40% of the global total, are expected to increase by 2.3%.

This year's rebound in emissions suggests that it's too soon to celebrate.

"When there are unexpected changes in carbon dioxide emissions or atmospheric concentrations, there are questions raised about our ability to independently verify reported emissions", Peters said.