The world has lost another year in the quest to finally start reducing its carbon emissions, which scientists say is crucial to avoid the steadily worsening impacts of climate change.
Instead of embarking on a long-awaited decline, global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to grow slightly during 2019, reaching another record high, according to a new analysis published Tuesday.
“We’re blowing through our carbon budget the way an addict blows through cash,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth science at Stanford University and chair of the Global Carbon Project, said in an interview. “It’s troubling, because carbon dioxide pollution is higher than it’s ever been.”
Total carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry totaled 36.8 billion tons, according to an estimate from the Global Carbon Project, a consortium of academics who produce the figures annually. That represents a 0.6 percent increase from 2018, which until now stood as the record.