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The Countries That Pushed Carbon Emissions to Record Levels

How should Congress tackle rising carbon emissions?

by Axios | Updated on 12.6.18

Reproduced from a Global Carbon Project chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

When it comes to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, the world isn't just failing — we're stepping our foot on the gas pedal.

The big picture: On Wednesday, scientists reported in a series of studies that global emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels are likely to hit record levels in 2018. China and India are responsible for much of that growth, which is erasing optimism from just a few years ago that some countries' emissions might be peaking. Elsewhere, virtually no country is reducing emissions fast enough to balance out the growth.

The details: The emissions are growing by a best estimate of 2.7% compared to 2017, according to the reports by the Global Carbon Project, which studies the carbon cycle and closely tracks emissions worldwide.

  • China and India's massive increases have been driven by continued coal use and economic growth drove the increase.
  • China is expected to see an estimated 4.7% increase in emissions for 2018.
  • India, too, is now expected to see a steep increase, despite the rapid deployment of renewables in that nation. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are expected to grow by 6.3% in 2018.
  • In the U.S., emissions had declined at 1.2% per year since 2007, but in 2018 there is expected to be an increase of about 2.5%.

The bottom line: China's reliance on coal is a big problem — and it's not going to end anytime soon. “There was hope that China was rapidly moving away from coal power generation, but the last two years has shown it will not be so easy for China to say farewell to coal quickly," said Jan Ivar Korsbakken, senior researcher at CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Oslo.

"Coal is likely to dominate the Chinese energy system in the next decade, even if the skyrocketing growth seen in the mid-2000s is unlikely to return."

Go deeper: Carbon emissions rise again in 2018, new report finds

Andrew Freedman

Axios

Written by Axios

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(15)
  • Robert
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Stop honoring the money you receive from fossil fuel companies and start honoring the people you’re supposed to serve. This planet will survive, whether we will or not is the question.

    Like (13)
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  • Dori
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Take it seriously, and believe our scientists and work with them, and invest in clean energy.

    Like (11)
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  • Fred
    12/06/2018
    ···

    We need to work towards everlasting and clean energy. But we are dependent on fossil fuels. We can’t just shut off or jack the price up on fossil fuels this would cause extreme hardship on the low and fixed income. There should be laws preventing any company sitting on a patent that could improve the quality of life should be fined.

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  • Tooluser1
    12/06/2018
    ···

    And yet when they test atmospheric captures the carbon *isn't there* and they can't, or WON'T explain why. Mostly because NONE of the favored models account for the affects of *plants* which, if you remember your elementary school science BREATHE CARBON and exhale oxygen... coupled with markedly increased greening and the often overlooked fact the the US has significantly more trees than we've had since the early 1900's, faster crop growth, regreening in other parts of the world, etc, etc. I can TELL you where that carbon is going and why these politically motivated "scientists" can't find it. Guess what else they fail to mention while discussing climate changemaggedon? Geologically speaking, the carbon levels they losing their collective feces about? Represents a historic LOW...

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  • Marc
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Funding development and purchase of green energy and renewable energy. Supporting regulations that reduce pollution and greenhouse gases. Subsidizing recycling and development of recycling businesses here in the U S

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  • M
    12/06/2018
    ···

    One thing we can do is stop buying things from China, unless they are explicitly made with renewable energy. We have let this dynamic go on too long. We gave away the solar manufacturing market to them, they have quite a few billionaires and other well-off people thanks to our shopping habits — they need to step it up.

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  • ColonelMoose
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Ignore the tree huggers. The sky isn’t falling. The United States is doing great for the environment. Don’t listen to the hype of the simple minded sheeple

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  • Danica
    12/06/2018
    ···

    This is a global emergency. We have over 97% of scientists agreeing that climate change poses an existential threat to the living world. Please help be our leaders and heroes. Please create a better world and one possible for my children to live in by switching to renewables and cutting emissions as much as possible by 2030. Thank you.

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  • Robert
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Written in past tense? IT IS STLL HAPPENING! The Ruination of “Space Ship Earth” for our grandkids and great grand kids😂 And our “polluter-in-chief” has not got a clue😂

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  • Vanessa
    last Friday
    ···

    If you’re worried about carbon emissions, plant more trees! I have a ton of house plants in my home and the cleanest air in the neighborhood. Taxing gas will NOT help our countries. Look at what is happening in France: Globalist Macron is causing mega riots with his Paris Accord Climate Change policies. No! Elites don’t know better than the people.

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  • Eunice
    12/06/2018
    ···

    Our ambassadors and state department can encourage other countries to take measures to ensure clean air. However, they are sovereign nations just as we are. Congress is to legislate for our country only.

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  • Phillip
    last Friday
    ···

    In this country we ought to be ashamed our emissions are at the levels they are. We have the infrastructure available. We just need to take the step and flip the switch

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  • Madison
    12/06/2018
    ···

    I don’t want to die when I’m in my 40’s.

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  • Brad
    last Friday
    ···

    Climate change is real. The United States should take its rightful place as the leader of the free world and set an example in the area of carbon emissions. If the world acts together, we can find solutions to this difficult problem. But, we cannot solve a problem as long as our leaders continue to deny that the problem exists, or to maintain that there is no solution to the problem so let’s ignore it - pretend it doesn’t exist - and hope it goes away. We solved the problem of landing on the moon. If we put our minds and resources together we can solve the challenges of climate change.

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