In 2014, emissions increased a further 2.5 per cent, 65 per cent above 1990 levels. This means there is a smaller chance of keeping global warming below 2°C.
The Global Carbon Project has identified three countries that have a critical role in emissions growth: China, the USA and India. India leads the way with a 5.1 per cent increase due to robust economic growth and a carbon-intense economy. China’s emissions grew at 4.2 per cent due to slower economic growth and carbon intensity compared to the previous decade. US emissions increased two per cent as coal production rebounded, ending the downward trend observed since the 2007 shale-gas boom.
‘China now has 45 per cent higher per-person CO2 emissions than the global average,’ said Robbie Andrew, co-author of the study.
‘As politics impedes progress in the US, observers increasingly look to China to provide a breakthrough in climate negotiations,’ added Glen Peters, the study’s co-author.
If emissions remain unchanged, the quota for CO2 production to avoid a 2°C temperature increase will be used up in the next 30 years.