Can save $5.11 trillion in healthcare costs if climate change goals met

Blood donor Alan Caplan giving blood at the Glasgow Donor Centre as the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service launches a festive appeal for blood donors. Pic Andrew Milligan  PA Wire

Blood donor Alan Caplan giving blood at the Glasgow Donor Centre as the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service launches a festive appeal for blood donors. Pic Andrew Milligan PA Wire

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry have risen by more than 2 per cent in 2018 to reach new record highs, scientists have said.

The emission growth in the U.S. was driven partly by weather, while India's emissions have continued to rise in line with a booming economy.

But while the study applauded the 15 percent global uptick in efforts to use renewable energy sources over the past 10 years, it said that governments must work harder to expand these kinds of power plants, and quickly, to avert an worldwide crisis.

Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while emissions by the European Union declined by just under 1 percent.

GLOBAL EMISSIONS of carbon dioxide are all set to register an all-time high in 2018, driven by a strong growth in emissions from India, according to the latest annual report of the Global Carbon Project.

Curbing carbon emissions is the single most important pledge of the historic 2015 agreement, which aims to combat climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century to between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees Celsius.

While the largest changes this year came from China and India, Democrats are urging the United States to play their part in decreasing emissions.

Last year, Carbon dioxide pollution increased by 1.6% after a three-year hiatus that raised hopes manmade greenhouse gas emissions had finally peaked despite an expanding world economy. That seems to have spiked emissions from heat and electricity. However, emissions were stable for the three years before that. India's growth in emissions was in fact the maximum for any major emitter. That can be done by displacing fossil fuels with clean energy, electric vehicles and so on.

The day after Thanksgiving, the Trump administration released a almost 1,700-page report cowritten by hundreds of scientists finding that climate change is already causing increasing damage to the United States. Even in countries with high rates of deployment for wind and solar, such as India and China, growing demand for energy is still eclipsing growth in renewables.

"Innovation must be the main driver of energy transformation", Morawiecki said, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency. Actions to meet the Paris goals would cost around one per cent of the global GDP.

Still, experts say there's room for optimism.

The growth in renewables and other low-carbon technologies is encouraging, they note, and some nations are already strengthening their Paris pledges.

Speed continues to be the critical factor, Peters noted.

Noting that the "developed countries are progressing towards their 2020 targets but gaps remain", the report of the UNFCCC said the total greenhouse gas emissions were projected to be roughly at the same level in 2020 as in 2016 unless these developed countries take stronger actions to keep themselves on declining emissions pathway.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News.

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