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Carbon emissions to hit record levels in 2018: Report

EPA Photo

Global emissions of carbon dioxide have risen substantially and are expected to hit record levels this year, scientists projected in a new report released Wednesday.

After three years of almost no growth, carbon emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to an annual report by the Global Carbon Project, a research partner of the World Climate Research Program.

The report's release comes as envoys from nearly 200 nations are meeting in Poland at the United Nations' annual climate change conference to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement.

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

According to the report, global emissions were dominated in 2017 by emissions from China, with 27 percent, followed by the U.S. with 15 percent, the EU with 10 percent and India with 7 percent.

Fossil fuel emissions are estimated to grow in 2018 by 4.7 percent in China, 6.3 percent in India and 2.5 percent in the U.S. and decrease by 0.7 percent in the EU.

China's emissions increased with the rise in coal use, which accounts for about 60 percent of the country's total energy consumption and for 40 percent of climate change linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

The emission growth in the U.S. was driven partly by weather, whereas India's emissions have continued to grow strongly as their economy booms, the report said.

The report said that despite reaching the highest levels on record, carbon dioxide emissions are likely to keep increasing with continued global economic growth.

"The peak in global emissions is not yet in sight," it said.

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