The world has seen an "extraordinary increase" in energy demand last year, driving energy-related emissions to a new record. The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that "urgent action is needed on all fronts."
Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the production of energy reached a new record in 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report on Tuesday.
CO2 emissions are the main driving force behind global warming, which scientists fear could spiral out of control unless drastic action is taken to reduce global emissions.
The IEA's key findings:
Coal in Asia is undermining Paris
"Despite the major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.
In the 2015 Paris accord, nearly every country pledged to work together to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.
"Whilst not impossible, if we do not address the emissions of coal power plants in Asia, to comply with our climate goals will be extremely challenging," IEA's Fatih Birol told the AFP news agency.
Hot future: The world is already 1 degree Celsius warmer that it was before industrialization and temperatures are currently predicted to rise by 4 degrees.
What needs to be done? Experts at the UN have warned that global CO2 emissions would need to drop by half before 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Only a complete overhaul of the global economy and consumer habits would achieve this, according to the global body.
Danger hidden in permafrost: Many scientists fear a domino effect if temperatures keep climbing. Arctic permafrost would start melting, leading to a vicious circle as large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane would be released that in turn increase the rate of global warming.
dj/amp (Reuters, AFP)