2017 “budget” shows global carbon dioxide emissions to grow by 2% in 2017

In 2017, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to grow by 2%, according to the 2017 global carbon budget published by the Global Carbon Project.

This announcement was made at the UNFCCC 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) meeting by Future Earth, a sponsor of the Global Carbon Project along with the World Climate Research Programme.

Future Earth says this is a record annual increase and calls this news “deeply concerning,” citing the fact that the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement on climate change called for a world target of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Future Earth says the world has not reached peak emissions yet.

The report says global average surface temperature reached about 1.1 C above pre-industrial levels and globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide reached 403.3 ppm in 2016, compared with 400 ppm in 2015.

Limiting global average temperature rise below 2 C translates to a cumulative carbon budget of about 2,895 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, but past emissions amounted to 2,052 Gt by 2015, leaving a remaining budget of about 843 Gt. The report indicates there is just a 66% probability of remaining below 2 C. “To substantially reduce the risk of global average temperature rising by 2 C, global emissions should peak no later than 2020 and approach net zero by 2050-2060,” it says.

The report says that “removing fossil fuels from the world economy to enable world development below 2 C is feasible.” It also says the prices of renewable technologies (although hydro was not specifically mentioned) are low enough to compete favorably with existing fossil fuel technologies.

Overall, Future Earth said, “It is critical for all parties in the climate negotiations to stay on top of the latest science in order to understand new and emerging risks and options to mitigate risk.”

More information and findings are available from the report, click here.

And click here for more environmental news.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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