Carbon emissions on track to rise this year

Carbon emissions on track to rise this year
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Global carbon dioxide emissions are on track to rise slightly this year after three years of staying flat, new research shows.

The annual report released Monday by the Global Carbon Project provides fuel to environmentalists to argue that the slowdown in emissions growth was more of a fluke than the start of a pattern.

The group, which helped organize three research groups in concert to come to the conclusions, attributed the carbon growth — likely to be 2 percent year-over-year — to increasing emissions in China and developing nations from burning fossil fuels, aligning with economic growth.

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“The slowdown in emissions growth from 2014 to 2016 was always a delicate balance, and the likely 2 percent increase in 2017 clearly demonstrates that we can’t take the recent slowdown for granted,” Robbie Andrew, a co-author of the study and a senior researcher at Norway’s CICERO Center for International Climate Research, said in a statement.

It also serves as fodder for supporters of the 2015 Paris Agreement, who say it shows that countries need to stick to their pledges and continue to ratchet up their commitments.

“Global commitments made in Paris in 2015 to reduce emissions are still not being matched by actions,” said CICERO’s Glen Peters. “It is far too early to proclaim that we have turned a corner and started the journey towards zero emissions.”

The research came out as representatives of nearly 200 countries meet in Bonn, Germany, to hash out rules for complying with the accord.

Every nation in the world has signed the agreement. But President Trump said in June that he would pull the United States out of the pact as soon as he can, which is 2020.