CO2 emissions for 2019 will hit record, but rate of increase is slower

Scientific American magazine reports that the Global Carbon Project has released a study that has bad news and just a bit of good news.

Global carbon emissions are expected to hit an all-time high in 2019, scientists say, smashing a previous record set in 2018.

There is some good news. The authors expect a substantial slowdown in worldwide fossil fuels emissions for this year. Emissions from coal, oil and natural gas expanded by about 2% globally in 2018. For all of 2019, they predict an expansion of just 0.6%.

Part of the slowdown can be attributed to declines in coal use in the U.S. and much of Europe, and lower-than-expected growth from other key coal consumers this year.

“We’re estimating a decline of 10% this year” for the U.S., said the Global Carbon Project’s executive director, Pep Canadell, “well above previous decline levels.”

But slowing the growth rate is not enough. We need to lower the rate altogether.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Yes, reducing one’s acceleration towards the edge of the cliff is something. But even zero carbon emissions implemented immediately might not be enough to prevent disaster. Definitely still worth working towards, of course. At this point, it’s a question of horrible consequences versus much worse consequences.

  2. file thirteen says

    So let me get this straight: the global emission of carbon dioxide is projected to have increased by 2 billion tonnes in 2019, up from 37 billion additional tonnes to 39 billion additional tonnes added to our atmosphere, which is a bigger increase over 2018 than the increase in 2018 over 2017, and of those emissions, fossil fuel emissions are still projected to increase over fossil fuel emissions in 2018, but the percentage increase of projected fossil fuel emissions in 2019 over 2018 will be less than the percentage increase of the fossil fuel emissions in 2018 over 2017. Yay?

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