CO2 Report Portends 'Disaster for All Countries'

Worldwide emissions hit new record last year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2013 10:48 AM CDT
In this Dec. 3, 2009 file photo smoke billows from chimneys of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

(Newser) – The planet's carbon emissions rose last year to a record 31.6 gigatons, marking a 1.4% increase, according to a new report. That puts us on track for a surge in temperature far exceeding international benchmarks—a "disaster for all countries," says the chief economist for the International Energy Agency, which released the report. Temperatures could end up 9 degrees hotter than they were the pre-industrial era.

"If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in," says Fatih Birol. China's emissions jumped 3.8%; the US, however, saw energy-related emissions fall by the same number, thanks to shifts from coal to shale gas, the Washington Post reports. (Read more climate change stories.)

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