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article image2018 saw global warming emissions reach a record level

By Ken Hanly     Mar 28, 2019 in Environment
The International Energy Agency reported on Tuesday March 26 that global warming emissions reached a record level last year in spite of efforts in the US, Europe, and China to reduce emissions through cleaner power and sales of more electric vehicles
The International Energy Agency (IEA) data
Greenhouse gas emissions increased quicker last year than any of the past six years. Globally emissions of carbon-dioxide gas rose 1.7 percent in 2018 to 33.1 million tons. Almost two thirds of the growth resulted from generating electricity according to the IEA report. However, that increase was less than the total increase in energy demand which rose 2.3 percent last year. Renewable energy production makes up the difference.
IEA executive director Faith Birol said: “We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade. Despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts.”
As electric car (EV) sales increase, it will become even more critical to also reduce global warming emissions from power plants. Renewable energy demand increased by 4 percent last year, while demand for natural gas rose 4.6 percent.
The record of various countries
The EU and Japan were both leaders in reducing greenhouse emissions. Europe reduced emissions by 1.3 percent and Japan's emissions declined for the fifth year in a row. On the other hand, China, India, and the US all had increases in energy demand and accounted for fully 70 percent of world demand for energy.
US emissions increased by 3.1 percent last year, reversing the trend towards decreases in 2016 and 2017. Chinese emissions rose by 2.5 percent and India even more at 4.5 percent but from a smaller base.
For the first time, the IEA assigned a percentage of global temperature increase to fossil fuel use. It claimed that burning coal was responsible for 30 percent of the 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit in global temperatures since pre-industrial times.
Study shows dealing with global warming ahead of time will save a great deal of money
The study in the Journal Nature, published in February actually estimates how much money can be saved if we take action right now to mitigating global warming and its effects. This could be done by such actions as providing incentives for people to buy electric cars and increase solar and other clean energy production installations. The study estimates it would cost about $20 trillion less to take such preventative action than to adapt to the effects of global warming later.
The appended video shows the effect of global warming on the Svalbard Seed Bank or DoomsDay vault as it is known. A recent article also talks about the issue.
More about Global warming, International energy agency, Greenhouse gas emissions
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