Climate Action

Global carbon emissions set to hit record high in 2018

A new report has found that global carbon emissions are set for an all-time high in 2018.

  • 06 December 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

A new report has found that global carbon emissions are set for an all-time high in 2018.

The report, conducted by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) and the University of East Anglia, states that in 2018 the projected rise of carbon emissions will be 2.7 per cent, this is much higher than the 1.6 per cent rise in 2017.

Prof Corinne Le Quéré, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at UEA, said: “We are seeing a strong growth of global CO2 emissions once again. Emissions need to peak and rapidly decrease to address climate change. With this year’s growth in emissions, it looks like the peak is not yet in sight. This year we have seen how climate change can already amplify the impacts of heatwaves worldwide. The California wildfires are just a snapshot of the growing impacts we face if we don’t drive emissions down rapidly.”

This news follows the IPCC report which highlighted the shocking impacts if urgent action isn’t taken.

Christiana Figueres, Mission 2020 campaign group leader and lead author of the Nature Commentary, said: “Global CO2 emissions must start to fall from 2020 if we are to meet the temperature goals of the Paris agreement, but this is within our grasp. We have already achieved things that seemed unimaginable just a decade ago.”

The report found that emissions from cars, trucks and planes using fossil fuels continue to rise. Previously, environmentalists have urged governments to bring forward targets to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles.

The role of deforestation has also played a part in rising CO2 emissions, deforestation and other human activities on land contributed to an additional 5 billion tonnes of CO2 this year.

There is some good news, the deployment of renewable energy worldwide is accelerating with electricity generation growing at 15 per cent per year on average over the last decade. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to offset the growth in fossil energy because renewables are growing from a low base. 

Read the full report here.