Economy

Global carbon emissions increased to a record high in 2012

On June 10, 2013, the International Energy Agency said that the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have  increased 1.4 percent in 2012, reaching a record high of 31.6 billion tons. On the other hand, the US has posted its lowest emissions since the mid-1990s.

The Paris-based IEA said in its annual World Energy Outlook report that the biggest carbon polluter China had the largest emissions growth in 2012, with up to 300 million tons, or 3.8 percent since 2011. Despite that, this increase was among the lowest in a span of a decade, as China continues to make investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

On the other hand, the US emissions went down by 200 million tons or 3.8 percent, a drop which is due to a switch in power generation from coal to gas, while the emissions in Europe went down by 50 million tons or 1.4 percent. The agency went on to say that the energy sector accounts for approximately two-thirds of global emissions of CO2, as well as other greenhouse gases.

Maria van der Hoeven, IEA Executive Director said, “Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities. But the problem is not going away – quite the opposite”. The scientists have also warned that the global temperature could rise with catastrophic consequences to follow.