Report: Carbon Emissions Reach Record In 2018

December 6, 2018

The Washington Post reported this week that scientists are projecting that global carbon dioxide emissions will set another record high by the end of 2018. Carbon emissions had been flat between 2014 and 2016, but they increased 1.6 percent in 2017. The Global Carbon Project says that the projected 2.7 percent rise in carbon emissions for this year means that greenhouse gas reduction policies put in place by numerous countries over the last few years were not doing enough to curb carbon dioxide production.

In 2018, the Global Carbon Project estimates that 37.1 billion tons of industrial carbon emissions were released into the atmosphere, with the U.S. responsible for about 6 billion of those tons. The U.S. carbon dioxide emissions represent an increase of 2.5 percent over 2017.

China was the largest single-country producer at 10 billion tons, while India’s total emissions increased this year by 6.3 percent. The only major carbon producer to decrease its emissions was the European Union.

The release of the findings come as countries meet this week in Poland to negotiate the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Speakers at the United Nations conference say that the majority of scientists warn that there is no chance the planet can be saved from the devastating effects of climate change if carbon dioxide emissions are not halved by 2030.

“The climate change debate will move back to the forefront in 2019, especially in the House when the Democrats take control in the new Congress,” said ILMA CEO Holly Alfano. “With President Trump’s announcement of his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement, next year’s climate change debate on Capitol Hill likely will morph into a 2020 campaign issue.”