'Bad news': CO2 emissions to rise in 2018, says IEA chief

October 18, 2018 by Catherine Hours, Marlowe Hood
International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol, pictured July 2018, said he has "very bad news"—carbon emissions will increase once again in 2018

Energy sector carbon emissions will rise in 2018 after hitting record levels the year before, dimming prospects for meeting Paris climate treaty goals, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday.

The accounts for 80 percent of global CO2 emissions, with most of the rest caused by deforestation and agriculture, so its performance is key to efforts to rein in rising world temperatures.

"I'm sorry, I have very bad news for you," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol told guests at a diplomatic function hosted by the Polish embassy in Paris.

"Emissions this year will increase once again, and we're going to have the COP meeting when reach a record high," he said, referring to the December UN in Katowice, Poland.

After remaining flat for three years, total global CO2 emissions in 2017 rose by 1.4 percent, dashing hopes that they had peaked.

The meeting in Katowice is tasked with finalising the "operating manual" for the 195-nation Paris Agreement, which enters into force in 2020 and calls for capping global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and at 1.5 C if possible.

"The chances of meeting such ambitious targets, in my view, are becoming weaker and weaker every year, every month," Birol told invitees, including former French prime minister Laurent Fabius, who shepherded the 2015 treaty to a successful conclusion, and Poland's junior minister Michal Kurtyka, who will preside over the December summit.

With one degree Celsius of warming so far, Earth has seen a crescendo of deadly extreme weather, including heatwaves, droughts, floods and deadly storm surges made worse by rising seas.

Next two years critical

Even taking into account voluntary national pledges to slash carbon emissions caused by burning fossil fuels, the planet is currently on track to warm by an unlivable 3 C to 4 C by century's end.

A major UN report released earlier this month said that capping average global temperatures at 1.5 C above preindustrial levels would prevent the worst ravages of .

But reaching that goal would mean reducing CO2 emissions by nearly half compared to 2010 levels within a dozen years, and becoming "carbon neutral"—with no excess C02 leaching into the atmosphere—by 2050.

The UN report also details humanity's "carbon budget"—the amount of CO2 we can emit and still stay under the 1.5 C ceiling.

At current rates of pollution, that budget would be used up within two decades.

Fabius, who said he had accepted an invitation to help Poland prepare for the December summit, insisted that the next two years are critical.

"Climate change is a near-term problem," he said. "When you look at the tragic consequences, it is today, not in 50 years."

"This is not a negotiation like any other," he added. "If you fail, you cannot start over again."

Explore further: Dramatic action needed on climate change: UN

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3 / 5 (2) Oct 18, 2018
What a surprise.
While any man can spend $1 on gas to turn a $2 profit this planet is doooooomed.
(You have to imagine the scary font and tone of grim foreboding.)
5 / 5 (1) Oct 18, 2018
While any man can spend $1 on gas to turn a $2 profit this planet is doooooomed.

Most people would sell their mothers to make a profit...in this case they are all selling their children's future to make a buck now.
Just because it's not immediately apparent to them doesn't make it any less real.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 18, 2018
Not to worry WW3 will sort it all out, it's inevitable at this point.
not rated yet Oct 19, 2018
CO2 to rise.....along with all the deadly poisonous emissions, it must be said.

Watch out for even worse heart disease, lung and other cancer statistics!
not rated yet Oct 21, 2018
Maybe the world needs another recession. The way I see it. Since the recession hit. The middle class / rich people now days are using other peoples paycheck so they can keep living it up with new gas guzzlers and everything else you can imagine. The only people the recession affected was poor people that are now paying for joe blow's new model turbo diesel.
The only way we are going to see change is if the rich get hit really hard. Anybody making any real money is in the business of either ripping other people off or it is dirty money from big oil. Rules need to be put into place to prevent people from monopolizing on the poor so they can keep making the same old stupid decision to purchase all the new death machines. You got the guy paying rent wishing he could afford a chevy volt or tesla yet he has to pay 2000 rent to the asshole who doesn't give a shit about the world or environment. He takes the poor kids 2000 hard earned dollars every month too look like a rich douch bag.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2018
Your daily reminder that in 2018, solar and wind only contributes ~2% of global energy consumption, less than nuclear. Despite all the hype, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.

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