Millions of Lives could be saved by tackling Climate Change

Posted December 07, 2018

Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, industry, and cement grew at a rate of more than three per cent a year in the 2000s, but then slowed from 2010 after the global financial crash before a surge in clean energy and energy efficiency investment and a shift from coal to gas power in several major markets ensured emissions remained relatively flat from 2014-16. But probably not, she added.

China's top planning agency said Wednesday that three areas - Liaoning in the northeast Rust Belt and the big coal-producing regions of Ningxia and Xinjiang in the northwest - had failed to meet their targets to curb energy consumption growth and improve efficiency a year ago.

"While there has been positive progress on clean energy and electric vehicles, this is now too small to impact the onward march of fossil fuels".

Niwa atmosphere-ocean scientist Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher said the world needed to be reducing emissions quite aggressively if it was to keep the temperature rise below 1.5C. Overall, it suggests that current Paris commitments would need to be tripled to reach a 2 C target and increased fivefold to reach the 1.5 C target.

Overall, it means atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentrations are set to reach an average of 407ppm in 2018, which is 45 per cent above pre-industrial levels, prompting calls for urgent climate action from world leaders at the COP24 summit now taking place in Poland.

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"The peak in global emissions is not yet in sight", it said.

Meanwhile, the combination of a growing, global middle class - and relatively low gas prices - has led the world's consumers to purchase more cars, and drive them more frequently, across longer distances.

Fossil fuel emissions are estimated to grow this year by 4.7 percent in China, 6.3 percent in India and 2.5 percent in the USA and decrease by 0.7 percent in the EU.

The United States will account for 15% of Carbon dioxide pollution in 2018, an increase of about 2.5%. But a cold winter and a hot summer both raised energy demands, contributing to an estimated 2.5 percent increase in emissions.

In Europe the report projects a slight decrease in Carbon dioxide emissions of 0.7 per cent, although this represents a slowdown in the rate of decarbonisation from the two per cent annual average decline seen between 2004-2014.

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Some scientists expressed frustration with the pace of change.

Trying to bring down carbon emissions from human activity is a central goal of the Paris Agreement due to the acknowledgement by experts this is what accelerates climate change, according to CNN.

"It's time to grow up and smell the coffee".

The world has already seen first-hand the effects of climate change: a crescendo of deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes made more destructive by rising seas.

This week and next, nations are meeting in Poland to negotiate a set of rules for the Paris climate agreement, which will govern how individual countries' pledges are reported and enforced.

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Almost 200 nations are huddled at UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland until December 14.