Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Financial Times is disappointed that hitting the Paris targets is looking even less likely, thanks to economic growth driving a rise in CO2 emissions.
China recovery pushes greenhouse emissions to global record
NOVEMBER 13, 2017 Tobias Buck in Berlin and Lucy Hornby in Beijing
Paris targets under threat as forecast 2% rise follows three years of zero growth
NOVEMBER 13, 2017 Tobias Buck in Berlin and Lucy Hornby in Beijing 58 comments Stronger Chinese economic growth will push global greenhouse gas emissions to a record high in 2017 after remaining flat for three years, dashing tentative hopes of a turning point in the world’s efforts to curb climate change.
A new report by the Global Carbon Project, an international research consortium, predicts that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry will rise 2 per cent this year. The report was released at the UN climate change meeting in Bonn on Monday.
“Emissions are following what countries have pledged — but what countries have pledged is nowhere near enough to meet the Paris objective,” said Glen Peters, co-author of the report and research director at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo.
This year’s rise is especially disappointing as it follows three years of almost no growth in emissions despite a world economy expanding at a steady clip. In 2016, emissions were flat even though the world economy grew 3.2 per cent. One explanation for the uptick is that China’s economic slowdown in the middle part of this decade was more pronounced than official figures suggested. The GPC report concludes: “The world has not reached peak emissions yet.”
The Carbon Project report is available here.
Remember all those wild green claims that economic growth had been “decoupled” from CO2 emissions? If the Financial Times authors are right, the whole decoupling thing was a mirage, caused by dodgy economic growth figures from the Chinese Government, who allegedly concealed the true magnitude of their country’s problems.
Now the global economy has finally turned a corner for real, King Coal is back – as always, the engine of global prosperity and rising living standards, especially for the world’s poorest.