Scientific report finds more fossil fuels being used every year

Climate action summit to hear global emissions will be at least as high in 2019 as in 2018

Melting glaciers are a clear sign of climat change and global warming. The rise in global energy consumption each year is still larger than new supplies of green energy

Melting glaciers are a clear sign of climat change and global warming. The rise in global energy consumption each year is still larger than new supplies of green energy

 

More fossil fuels are being used every year, despite all of the efforts to increase renewable energy supplies, a major report to be presented to the United Nations summit will say today.

“This growth needs to be halted immediately,” says the report, which has been jointly drafted by some of the world’s most influential environmental organisations.

The current pledges made by countries must be tripled if temperatures are to be kept within the 2C limit, but they will have to jump five-fold if temperatures are to stay within 1.5C of pre-industrial levels.

Declaring his support for the scientists, the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said: “Now, I believe in science. I believe in what has been considered . . . the most valid scientific position today.”

Global emissions will be at least as high in 2019 as in 2018, while global GDP is expected to grow at 3.2 per cent. The rise in global energy consumption each year is still larger than new supplies of green energy.

In 2018, carbon dioxide emissions grew 2 per cent, reaching a record high of 37 billion tonnes of CO2. In 2018, global CO2 concentration was 407.8 parts per million (ppm), 2.2 ppm higher than 2017.

Warmer than today

The last time Earth’s atmosphere contained 400 parts per million CO2 was about 3-5 million years ago, when means temperatures were 2-3°C warmer than today.

Then, ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica melted, parts of East Antarctica ice retreated, which caused global sea levels to rise by between 10-20m compared with today.

Natural CO2 sinks, such as vegetation and oceans, which remove about half of all emissions from human activities, but are becoming less efficient at doing so, the report warned.

“This underscores the need to reduce deforestation and expand natural CO2 sinks, particularly those in forests and soils that can be improved by better management and habitat restoration,” the report says.

The experts include the World Meteorological Organization, the UN Environment Agency, Global Carbon Project, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Future Earth, among others.