World Carbon Emissions Hit New Record in 2011

Climate change goals moving out of reach, scientists warn

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 3, 2012 2:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Neither concern for the planet nor a weak global economy have been able to keep carbon emissions down, researchers say. Emissions rose 3.6% to a new record last year and have risen another 2.6% so far this year, putting the planet on what now appears to be an inevitable path toward climate change and more extreme weather, reports the New York Times. China and India's rapidly expanding economies led the emissions growth, which was more than enough to cancel out falling emission levels from Europe and the US.

Representatives from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Doha to discuss climate change, but few expect the conference to bring the world much closer to solving the problem. Researchers warn that the internationally agreed upon goal of limiting warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit is rapidly moving out of reach. The goal will become unachievable "unless large and concerted global mitigation efforts are initiated soon," says the scientist who leads the carbon tracking project.

Smoke billows from the chimney of a heating plant as the sun sets in Beijing.
Smoke billows from the chimney of a heating plant as the sun sets in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)
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