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Save millions of lives by tackling climate change, says WHO

Save millions of lives by tackling climate change, says WHO

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise for the second year running in 2018, hitting new record highs that underscore the scale of the challenge the world faces if it is to avert runaway climate change and keep the Paris Agreement on track.

The researchers said global carbon dioxide emissions have China's carbon emissions account for 27% of the global total and have increased an estimated 4.7% in 2018.

The report comes alongside a new league table, released today, which ranks Denmark the top country globally for implementing five key measures and technologies for combatting climate change, closely followed by the UK, Canada, and the US.

CO2 emissions have now risen for a second year, the study's authors say, after three years of little to no growth from 2014 to 2016.

But while the study applauded the 15 percent global uptick in efforts to use renewable energy sources over the past 10 years, it said that governments must work harder to expand these kinds of power plants, and quickly, to avert an worldwide crisis.

China produced 27 percent of global emissions a year ago, followed by the United States with 15 percent, the European Union with 10 percent and India at seven percent.

The research, carried out by the Global Carbon Project (GCP), says that this year's "strong" rise in CO2 levels is projected to be 2.7% as compared to 2017's 1.6%. We are in deep trouble with climate change, " United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual UN climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in coming years.

The Paris Agreement is potentially the strongest health agreement of this century, in not only addressing the health risks associated with climate change through mitigation and adaptation mechanisms, but also in helping ensure the attainment of the SDGs, which are integral to good health.

China continues to remain the largest emitter of the world, with its emissions in 2018 likely to reach 10.3 billion tonnes, an increase of 4.7 per cent from past year. That seems to have spiked emissions from heat and electricity. India's growth in emissions was in fact the maximum for any major emitter.

Meanwhile, emissions from the rest of the world - which makes up the remaining 42 per cent of global Carbon dioxide emissions - are also expected to grow by 1.8 per cent this year. "Fossil energy needs to be phased out and efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy". Even in countries with high rates of deployment for wind and solar, such as India and China, growing demand for energy is still eclipsing growth in renewables.

Speed continues to be the critical factor, Peters noted.

"We're not going to see what we saw in China in the early 2000s" when that country overtook, and then doubled, emissions of the previous leader, the United States, she said.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News.

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