The rate of emission of CO₂ resuming an upward trend

Les taux d’émissions de CO₂ repartent à la hausse

Photo: Wang Zhao Agence France-Presse

The increase of this year is fuelled by a boom in emissions by China (+4.7 per cent).

The “peak” so hoped for will wait. The CO₂ emissions of fossil fuels, the primary cause of global warming, have experienced in 2018 an increase occurred in the last seven years, as a reminder of the reality for the States meeting in the COP24 in Poland.

According to an annual report published Wednesday in the margins of the 24th conference of the UN climate, CO₂ emissions related to the industry and the combustion of coal, oil and gas are forecast to grow by 2.7% in comparison to 2017, after an increase of 1.6 % last year, having followed three years of almost stable.

It is necessary to go back to 2011 and the release of the financial crisis of 2008 to find a worse rate, told AFP Glen Peters, a climate scientist at the centre for research Cicero, Oslo, and co-author of the study published in the journal in open access Earth System Science Data.

“The policies are behind the growth of the economy and energy “, he says.

“It is far from the trajectory that would allow us to stay at 1.5 °C or even 2 °C” of warming, objectives of the Paris Agreement. “The rhetoric swells, but the ambition, we have completely derailed. “


The increase of this year is fuelled by a boom in emissions by China (+4.7 per cent), the first transmitter in the world (a quarter of the total), whose efforts had allowed encouraging results in previous years, according to the 13th balance of the Global Carbon Project, completed by 80 scientists.

“The trends in recent years have a lot to do with the ups and downs of the use of coal in China “, emphasizes Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia. But ” our chinese experts think that this resurgence is related to the stimulus of the economy by the government, and thus possibly temporary. “

Second issuing country, the United States is at +2.5 % of emissions in 2018. Not to necessarily blame this on the political anti-climate of Trump, but rather, a winter and a summer extremes that have sought heaters and air conditioners, note the researchers.

India is at +6.5 per cent.

In addition to coal, the main source of CO₂, natural gas consumption has increased 2% per year worldwide between 2000 and 2017, of which +8.4% in a China that fight against the pollution of the air.

Next to oil, it was thought to be the peak of consumption is reached. It is not the case, because of the transport : the number of vehicles is growing by 4 % per year, of which a small share of power. And the use of the fuel used by commercial aviation has soared by 27 % in 10 years.

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