Global carbon emissions from energy are up 48% on 1992, when the original Earth summit took place in Rio – a historic summit at which governments agreed to limit emissions in order to prevent dangerous climate change.
In 2010, the latest year for which figures have been compiled, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said the world emitted 31.8bn tonnes of carbon from energy consumption. That represents a climb of 6.7% on the year before and is significantly higher than the previous best estimate, made by the International Energy Agency last year, that in 2010 a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide were released from burning fossil fuel.
Increases in fossil fuel use of this magnitude are likely to carry the world far beyond the temperature rise of 2C by 2050 that scientists have estimated is the limit of safety, beyond which climate change is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.As the Rio+20 walkout begins some representatives have turned in their UN badges in protest to the corporate fossil fuel gift of a weak rubber stamped initial document which contains no binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
Here is a interview made today with Rajendra Pachaury eminent climate change scientist, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) as he voices his frustration and indicates that solutions will come from individual actions or bottom up activism. Let's get working!