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CO2 emissions on the rise for first time in four years

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By Judith Prescott
Carbon Dioxide emmissions rise for first time in four years
Carbon Dioxide emmissions rise for first time in four years

A United Nations report says global efforts to reduce the effects of climate change are way off track and global carbon dioxide emissions rose again during 2017 after a three year hiatus.

The study suggests that nations around the world will fall woefully short of targets set out in the 2015 Paris Climate agreement.

According to the report, current emission targets would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius.

What’s worse, says the report, is that there is no sign of reversal of this trend and that only 57 countries - representing 60 per cent of global emissions- are on track to bridge their “emissions gap” – meaning the gap between where we are likely to be and where we need to be.

Increased emissions and lagging action means the gap published in this year’s report is larger than ever.

The situation is difficult, but Philip Drost, the lead coordinator of the Emissions Gap Report in Paris, says individual actions can make a difference.

"There are so many opportunities for everyone," he explains. "Every citizen, every leader, anyone can act to improve lives and health, to bring about cleaner air."

No doubt there is still lots of work to do. The authors of the report note that nations would need to triple their efforts on climate action without further delay, in order to meet the 2°C-rise limit by mid-century.