Projections for 2012 say that there’ll be a 2.6% increase in global CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels compared to 2011 levels, making it unlikely that we can meet the international goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C.
The study focuses on emissions from burning fossil fuels and producing cement.
China, the biggest CO2 producer, accounts for 28% of global emissions according to the journals cited below. The US came next with 26%, the European Union with 11% and India with 7%.
If we consider the emissions-per-person results, the US leads with more than 17 tons of CO2 released for each American. The European Union and China were close for second place with 7 tons of pollution per person. India was last, with slightly less than 2 tons emitted per person.
Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and professor at internationally research facility, University of East Anglia, said, “These latest figures come amidst climate talks in Doha. But with emissions continuing to grow, it’s as if no one is listening to the entire scientific community.
“I am worried that the risks of dangerous climate change are too high on our current emission trajectory. We need a radical plan.”
The authors of the study say current emissions growth puts the world on a global warming path between 4 degrees C and 6 degrees C. They warn that “Unless large and concerted global mitigation efforts are initiated soon, the goal of remaining below 2 degrees C will soon become unachievable.”
“We are losing control of our ability to get a handle on the global warming problem,” observed Canadian Climate Scientist Andrew Weaver.
Even the World Bank is concerned. It concluded that we’re on track for 4 degrees Celsius warming by the end of the century, a dangerous rise in temperatures involving “extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise.”
My Take on our nation’s Number One standing: Why do US citizens generate over 200% more emissions than do Europeans and Chinese?
Because we want to, because we can.
One of the first lessons we’re taught as children is that we may not, should not do everything we want to do, everything we can do.
Looks like we’ve put that lesson in our back pockets and sat on it as we speed down the highways in our gas-guzzlers.