Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will hit another record this year, despite an increase in the use of renewable resources such as solar energy, according to a new study. Global co2 emissions from burning fossil fuels will reach 36.8 billion tons by the end of 2019, up from 36.57 billion tons in 2018, Science News reported Thursday.
The researchers based their data on monthly emissions data reported and estimated by different regions, published online in environmental research letters. The study also predicts that global CO2 emissions are likely to continue to rise as oil and gas use increases.
At present, while some countries have started to use renewable energy sources, for example, the United States will have an 8 per cent increase in wind power in 2019 compared to 2018, while solar power generation is estimated to be 11 per cent higher, this trend is not enough to prevent an increase in CO2 emissions, leading to climate change, melting polar ice sheets and increased hurricanes.
“Most of the renewable energy we use today doesnot replace coal and other fossil fuels, but is simply adding new sources of energy,” said Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Stanford University, in a separate paper published Thursday in Nature Climate Change. Jackson and his colleagues have also proposed some global climate policies that directly reduce the use of fossil fuels, such as abandoning coal-fired power plants and adopting technologies to capture carbon from the atmosphere.
“Coal is the only fossil fuel that is on a downward trend,” Jackson said. His team estimates that global coal use will fall by 0.9 per cent in 2019, with the US down 10.5 per cent and the European Union down 10 per cent. But global gas and oil use rose 2.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively, offsetting the benefits of a small decline in coal.
Jackson also noted that CO2 emissions from India and most developing countries are still rising, and that the U.S. is still using “more than our fair share of fossil fuels” despite a decline of about 1.7 percent in the U.S. and Europe. In 2018, global per capita CO2 emissions are reported to be about 4.8 tonnes, compared with an average of 16.6 tonnes for Americans.