World’s carbon emissions grow to new record

World’s carbon emissions grow to new record
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Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions related to energy grew 1.4 percent last year over the previous year, hitting a new record, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

The growth to 32.5 gigatons of pollution followed three straight years of flat emissions.

Emissions did not grow everywhere, the IEA said Thursday in its annual report. Many nations, including Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom, saw their emissions fall, and the United States’s carbon emissions dropped the most of any country.

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“The significant growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 tells us that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA.

“For example, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency as policymakers have put less focus in this area.”

IEA used the report in part to argue that the world is not on a trajectory to avoid 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels, the maximum increase that world leaders have set for themselves in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“Global emissions need to peak soon and decline steeply to 2020; this decline will now need to be even greater given the increase in emissions in 2017,” the group said.

The report also found that demand for energy grew 2.1 percent worldwide, double the previous year’s increase.

More than 70 percent of the global energy demand was met by fossil fuels.

Natural gas consumption grew the most of any fuel at 3 percent. A third of the demand growth was from China alone.