London, Dec 5, 2023- Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels have risen again in 2023, reaching record levels, according to a new research.
Emissions in 2023 are projected to increase in India (8.2 per cent) and China (4 per cent), and decline in the EU (-7.4 per cent), the US (-3.0 per cent) and the rest of the world (-0.4 per cent).
The ‘Global Carbon Project’ science team projects fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 36.8 billion tonnes in 2023, up 1.1 per cent from 2022.
The research team included the University of Exeter, the University of East Anglia (UEA), CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich and 90 other institutions around the world.
The research, published in the journal Earth System Science Data, said that Fossil CO2 emissions are falling in some regions, including Europe and the US, but rising overall. According to the scientists, global action to cut fossil fuels is not happening fast enough to prevent dangerous climate change.
Emissions from land-use change (such as deforestation) are projected to decrease slightly but are still too high to be offset by current levels of reforestation and afforestation (new forests).
The report projects that total global CO2 emissions (fossil + land-use change) will be 40.9 billion tonnes in 2023. This is about the same as 2022 levels, and part of a 10-year “plateau” – far from the steep reduction in emissions that is urgently needed to meet global climate targets.
“The impacts of climate change are evident all around us, but action to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels remains painfully slow,” said Professor Pierre Friedlingstein of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, who led the study.
“It now looks inevitable we will overshoot the 1.5 degree Celsius target of the Paris Agreement, and leaders meeting at COP28 will have to agree to rapid cuts in fossil fuel emissions even to keep the 2 degree Celsius target alive,” Friedlingstein added.
At the current emissions level, the Global Carbon Budget team estimates a 50 per cent chance global warming will exceed 1.5 degree Celsius consistently in about seven years.
“The latest CO2 data shows that current efforts are not profound or widespread enough to put global emissions on a downward trajectory towards Net Zero, but some trends in emissions are beginning to budge, showing climate policies can be effective,” said Professor Corinne Le Quere, Royal Society Research Professor at UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences.
About half of all CO2 emitted continues to be absorbed by land and ocean “sinks”, with the rest remaining in the atmosphere where it causes climate change, said the research.
The ‘Global Carbon Budget’ report, produced by an international team of more than 120 scientists, provides an annual, peer-reviewed update. (Agency)