CO2 emissions continued to grow in 2012, at a dangerous rate that makes a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 2°C nearly inevitable. Over the past year CO2 emissions rose 2.6% and the average growth rate from 2000 to 2012 is a disastrous 3.1% per year. A level emissions rate, at this point, would lead to a rise of more than 2°C by 2100. At the present growth rate, which is an exponential growth rate of about 2.2% per year for the period 1990-2012 by my calculation, the world is on track for a calamitous rise of 4°C to 6.1°C.
CO2 emissions from fossil fuels burning and cement production increased by 3% in 2011, with a total of 9.5±0.5 PgC emitted to the atmosphere (34.7 billion tonnes of CO2). These emissions were the highest in human history and 54% higher than in 1990 (the Kyoto Protocol reference year). In 2011, coal burning was responsible for 43% of the total emissions, oil 34%, gas 18%, and cement 5%.
CO2 emissions from fossil fuels burning and cement production are projected to increase by 2.6% in 2012, to a record high of 9.7±0.5 PgC (35.6 billion tonnes of CO2).
The biggest contributors to global emissions in 2011 were China (2.5 PgC, 28%), the United States (1.5 PgC, 6%), the European Union (EU27; 1.0 PgC, 11%), and India (0.6 PgC, 7%). Contributions to global emissions growth in 2011 were largest from China (0.226 PgC above 2010 levels, 9.9% growth) and India (0.043 PgC, 7.5%). Emissions from USA were down by 0.028 (-1.8%) and EU27 down by 0.029 PgC (-2.8%).
Developing nations accounted for 60 % of all emissions in 2011. Average per capita emissions of developed countries (Annex B) were 3.0tC/person, several times larger than those of developing countries (non-Annex B) which were 0.9tC/person. China's per capita emissions were 1.8 tC/person and are now close to the average of 2.0 in the EU-27. India's per capita emissions were much below at 0.5 tC/person.