Global carbon emissions boosted by soaring natural gas use are set to hit record levels in 2019 despite a decline in coal consumption and a string of countries declaring a climate emergency, researchers said Wednesday.
In its annual analysis of fossil fuel trends, the Global Carbon Project said CO2 emissions were on course to rise 0.6 percent this year -- slower than previous years but still a world away from what is needed to keep global warming in check.
In three peer-reviewed studies, authors attributed the rise to “robust growth” in natural gas and oil, which offset significant falls in coal use in the United States and Europe.
Atmospheric CO2 levels, which have been climbing exponentially in recent decades, are expected to hit an average of 410 parts per million this year, Le Quere said. That’s the highest level in at least 800,000 years.
The report will make for further uncomfortable reading for delegates gathered at UN climate talks in Madrid, with the warnings from the world’s top climate scientists still ringing in their ears.