Environment

Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to hit new record high in 2023: report

Dubai, Dec 5 (EFE).- Despite climate warnings from scientists, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels are projected to reach a new record high in 2023, according to data from the 2023 Global Carbon Project, within the framework of COP28.

This report, called Global Carbon Budget, which provides a global vision of the carbon cycle, was prepared by researchers from the University of Exeter, the University of East Anglia, the CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich and 90 other institutions around the world.

This is the 18th edition of this report with the participation of more than 120 scientists, and will be published in the journal Earth System Science Data.

According to the data, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, the main source of greenhouse gases, are projected to have increased by 1.1 percent from 2022, with a new record high of 36.8 billion tons at the end of 2023.

Global CO2 emissions (fossil and land-use change) will rise to 40.9 billion tons this year, according to forecasts for the end of the year.

The global figure is slightly higher than in 2022, in which 40.6 billion tons of CO2 was emitted, and “far from the steep reduction in emissions that is urgently needed to meet global climate targets,” according to the report.

Even amid great uncertainties, at the current emissions level, the report indicates there is a 50 percent chance global warming will exceed 1.5°C consistently in about seven years.

Although around half of all CO2 continues to be absorbed by land and ocean “sinks,” the rest of the emissions remain in the atmosphere and cause climate change.

According to the figures, fossil CO2 emissions are declining in some geographic regions, including Europe and the United States, but overall they are increasing globally.

Scientists warn that global action to cut fossil fuels is not happening fast enough to prevent dangerous climate change.

Emissions from land-use change (such as deforestation) are expected to decrease “slightly,” but still too high to be offset levels of reforestation and afforestation (new forests).

“It now looks inevitable we will overshoot the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement,” warned study lead Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, from Exeter’s Global Systems Institute. “Leaders meeting at COP28 will have to agree rapid cuts in fossil fuel emissions even to keep the 2°C target alive.”

Professor Corinne Le Quéré, Royal Society Research Professor at UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences said that “the latest CO2 data shows that current efforts are not profound or widespread enough to put global emissions on a downward trajectory towards Net Zero, but some trends in emissions are beginning to budge, showing climate policies can be effective.”

“All countries need to decarbonise their economies faster than they are at present to avoid the worse impacts of climate change.”

The report includes key data confirming that regional trends in the climate fight vary greatly.

According to the indicators, CO2 emissions in 2023 are expected to increase in India (8.2 percent) and China (4 percent), and decrease in the EU (-7.4 percent), the US (-3 percent) and the rest of the world (-0.4 percent).

By source type, global emissions from coal (1.1 percent), oil (1.5 percent) and gas (0.5 percent) are expected to increase.

According to forecasts, 2023 atmospheric CO2 levels are projected to average 419.3 parts per million, 51 percent above pre-industrial levels.

Also this year, global CO2 emissions from forest fires were higher than average due to an extreme fire season in Canada, where emissions were six to eight times higher than average.

The levels of tech-based carbon dioxide removal – excluding the natural removal of CO2 with reforestation etc – amount to approximately 0.01 million tons of CO2, which is more than a million times smaller than current fossil CO2 emissions. EFE

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