Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit a Record in 2022 – KLBK | KAMC

NEW YORK (AP) – Communities around the world emitted more carbon dioxide in 2022 than any other year in records dating back to 1900, a result of air travel recovering from the pandemic and more cities turning to coal for energy. low cost .

Emissions of the climate-warming gas caused by energy production rose by 0.9% to reach 36.8 gigatons in 2022, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday. (The mass of one gigaton is equivalent to about 10,000 fully loaded aircraft carriers, according to NASA.)

Carbon dioxide is released when fossil fuels such as oil, coal or natural gas are burned to power cars, planes, homes and factories. When the gas enters the atmosphere, it traps heat and contributes to global warming.

Extreme weather events intensified last year’s carbon dioxide emissions: Droughts reduced the amount of water available for hydroelectric power, which increased the need to burn fossil fuels. And heat waves have increased demand for electricity.

Thursday’s report was described as baffling by climate scientists, who warn that energy users around the world must drastically reduce emissions to lessen the dire consequences of global warming.

“Any increase in emissions – even 1% – is a failure,” said Rob Jackson, professor of Earth system science at Stanford University and president of the Global Carbon Project, an international group. “We cannot afford the growth. We cannot allow stasis. It’s cuts or chaos for the planet. Any year with higher coal emissions is a bad year for our health and the Earth.”

Carbon dioxide emissions from coal grew by 1.6% last year. Many communities, particularly in Asia, have switched from natural gas to coal to avoid the high natural gas prices that have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IEA said.

And as global air traffic increased, carbon dioxide emissions from burning oil grew by 2.5%, with about half of the increase resulting from the aviation sector.

Global emissions have grown for most years since 1900 and have accelerated over time, according to IEA data. An exception was the pandemic year 2020, when travel practically stopped.

Last year’s level of emissions, although a record, was lower than experts had expected. Increased deployment of renewable energy, electric vehicles and heat pumps has helped to avoid an additional 550 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions, the IEA said.

Strict pandemic measures and weak economic growth in China have also reduced output, helping to limit overall global emissions. And in Europe, the IEA said, electricity generation from wind and solar power exceeded that from gas or nuclear for the first time.

“Without clean energy, the growth in CO2 emissions would have been nearly three times as high,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said in a statement.

“Yet we still see rising emissions from fossil fuels, hampering efforts to meet the world’s climate goals. International and national fossil fuel companies are earning record revenues and need to take their share of responsibility in line with their public pledges to meet climate targets.”

While emissions continue to grow at worrying levels, a reversal that would help achieve the climate goals nations have committed to remains possible, said John Sterman, director of the Sloan Sustainability Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nations must subsidize renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, electrify industry and transportation, set a high price on carbon emissions, reduce deforestation, plant trees and eliminate the coal system, Sterman argued.

“This is a huge undertaking to do all those things, but it’s what it takes,” he said.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit a Record in 2022 – KLBK | KAMC

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