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Fossil CO2 emissions at all time high

by | 05 Dec 23 | News, Sustainability

In new research undertaken by the Global Carbon Project science team, global fossil CO2 emissions have reached an all time high this year.

The annual Global Carbon Budget report reveals that despite a fall in fossil carbon dioxide emissions across some regions, including Europe and the USA, overall levels have risen to 36.8bn tonnes, a 1.1% increase from 2022.

And while emissions from land-use change, such as deforestation are projected to see a marginal decrease, the report shows CO2 levels are still too high to be offset by the current levels of reforestation and afforestation.

With total CO2 emissions (fossil and land use change) projected to be 40.9bn tonnes in 2023- a statistic not too dissimilar from 2022.

“The impacts of climate change are evident all around us, but action to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels remains painfully slow,” says professor Pierre Friedlingstein, of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, who led the study.

“It now looks inevitable we will overshoot the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement, and leaders meeting at COP28 will have to agree rapid cuts in fossil fuel emissions even to keep the 2°C target alive.”

The report estimates a 50% chance global warming will exceed 1.5°C consistently in approximately seven years.

At the current emissions level, the Global Carbon Budget team estimates a 50% chance global warming will exceed 1.5°C consistently in about seven years.

With global emissions from coal (1.1%), oil (1.5%) and gas (0.5%) all projected to increase.

Friedlingstein concludes: “All countries need to decarbonise their economies faster than they are at present to avoid the worse impacts of climate change.”

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