International Energy Agency report record emissions

Emissions hit an all-time record high in 2010 jeopardising climate change fighting targets, according to figures released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Energy related carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 were the highest in history according to the latest estimates by the IEA released yesterday (May 30).

The economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 caused a fall in CO2, however a rejuvenated global economy has seen emissions climb to a record 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt) – a 5% jump from the previous record year in 2008, when levels reached 29.3 Gt.

In addition, the IEA has estimated 80% of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020 are already ‘locked in’.

This is because, it believes, they will come from power plants currently in place or under construction now.

In terms of fuels 44% of estimated emissions in 2010 came from coal, 36% from oil and 20% from natural gas.

IEA chief economist, Dr Fatih Birol, said: “Our latest estimates are another wake-up call.

“The world has edged incredibly close to the level of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 if the 2ºC target is to be attained.

“Given the shrinking room for manoeuvres in 2020, unless bold and decisive decisions are made very soon, it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal agreed in Cancun.”

Luke Walsh

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