Carbon output skyrocketed to its highest recorded level thanks to a five percent increase from 2009 to 2010, the International Energy Agency said.
Climate scientists have made avoiding a rise of two degrees Celsius a central benchmark in the fight against climate change, saying that such an increase could have dire repercussions. The 30.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions generated last year, predominantly by fossil fuels, marks a sharply rising emissions rate that would put the two degrees goal out of reach.
I am very worried, chief IEA economist Fatih Birol told the Guardian. This is the worst news on emissions. It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2 degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say.
The 2010 figure reverses a slight decline registered between 2008 and 2009. The IAE has determined that limiting total emissions to 32 gigatons by 2020 would be a crucial safeguard against the most deleterious effects of climate change.