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CO2 Emissions Growing Strongly Again

November 13, 2017

By Paul Homewood



Greenies panic that CO2 emissions are still rising!




Hopes that the world might be seeing an early peak in global carbon emissions were dashed today with the release of the latest Global Carbon Project report. Emissions barely rose at all in 2014-2016, despite steady growth in GDP, leading some to suggest that humanity had turned the corner in tackling climate change. However, carbon releases rose sharply again in 2017, with fossil fuel emissions hitting a new all-time record of 37 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The bad news comes as policy-makers gather for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) at Bonn this week. The Global Carbon Project data, which involve numerous scientists from different institutions and the simultaneous publication of three major peer-reviewed journal papers, reveals a 2 percent rise in all human-originated greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, yielding a grand total of 41 billion tonnes of CO2.

“Global CO2 emissions appear to be going up strongly once again after a three-year stable period,” said Prof. Corinne Le Quéré, lead researcher and director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA. “This is very disappointing. Time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2ºC let alone 1.5ºC."

The main source of increased emissions seems to be an uptick in coal burning in China, where increased industrial production and reduced hydroelectric generation led to a resurgence in coal consumption. The United States also saw a slight rebound in coal use, after years of falling consumption, due to cheap fracked natural gas and increased use of renewables.

“The return to growth in global emissions in 2017 is largely due to growth in Chinese emissions, projected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2017 after two years with declining emissions,” said Dr. Glen Peters of the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, who led one of the studies. “The growth in 2017 emissions is unwelcome news, but it is too early to say whether it is a one-off event on a way to a global peak in emissions, or the start of a new period with upward pressure on global emissions growth.”

Meanwhile, world temperatures continue to rise rapidly. The five warmest years in terms of average global temperatures have all occurred since 2010, and 16 of the 17 hottest years have all come since 2000. The year 2017 is on track to be the second-warmest on record, after the record-breaking highs seen in 2016. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations reached 403 parts per million last year and are expected to rise another 2.5ppm in 2017. They are likely now the highest they’ve been in at least 3 million years.

While the report states that renewables have increased by a rapid 14 percent each year, with a record installation of 161 gigawatts of renewable generating capacity in 2016, this is from a very small base and makes little difference to overall global emissions. For China, the largest emitter, the researchers state: "Solar, wind and nuclear growth is not nearly sufficient to make up for the combination of higher energy demand and lower hydro output."

According to the 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, renewables still only account of 3.2% of global primary energy, barely changed at all from the previous year. Renewable energy’s massive growth added 55 mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) to global primary energy, but oil consumption grew by 75 mtoe and natural gas by 57 mtoe. Between 2000 and 2016, 80% of the increased global primary energy supply has come from fossil fuels. Oil consumption has now hit 97 million barrels per day, and is expected to cross the 100 millon barrels per day threshold in a few years.

The closure of carbon-free nuclear capacity elsewhere in the world, ironically often at the behest of environmental campaigners who claim to be also concerned with tackling climate change, has also boosted coal. Germany, where the UN climate summit is being held, is the sixth largest emitter in the world, after China, USA, India, Russia and Japan. Germany is now forecast to miss its climate targets because lost nuclear generation has meant a continuing reliance on dirty coal.

Germany was called "Europe’s worst offender on climate" in a report released last week by the campaign group Energy For Humanity. Because renewables growth barely compensates for the nuclear shutdown, "Germany does not deserve its reputation as a climate leader," EFH’s director Kirsty Gogan said. “France, however, with this week’s timely decision to not force accelerated shut-downs on its nuclear fleet, is bound to stay on top as one of the most decarbonized nations, while Germany falls further behind," she added.

Overall Europe’s rate of decarbonisation has slowed since the previous decade, the opposite of what European policymakers have repeatedly pledged in numerous speeches about the supposed seriousness of climate change. The EU’s emissions are projected to decline by a negligible 0.2% in 2017. The failure of Europe and the US to cut emissions significantly means that growth in the developing world – where per-capita emissions are dramatically lower than in rich countries – is not offset.

After all the hype and warm words after the successful Paris climate meeting, Bonn is likely to see a serious reality-check. Decarbonising the global economy is proving to be a hard task, made harder by ideological preferences for renewables over nuclear, and the continued lack of serious grid-scale electricity storage options. For most countries – even self-professed climate leaders like Germany – fossil fuels continue to be the most reliable and the cheapest option for their energy supply. The chance of meeting the 2 degrees target gets slimmer by the day.


I am constantly amazed that the likes of Mark Lynas and Corrinne Le Quere are surprised to see emissions still rising.

If they had bothered to read the Paris Agreement and the INDCs, they would have known that was exactly what was intended.


It surely must be obvious to Le Quere and co that the real problem is China.



And the argument that it is all about per capita emissions no longer washes either, as China’s are now higher than the EU’s.





I notice that Le Quere has this to say in the Tyndall Centre’s press release on the topic today:

This year we have seen how climate change can amplify the impacts of hurricanes with more intense rainfall, higher sea levels and warmer ocean conditions favouring more powerful storms.

As we know, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for this statement.



It is a sad state of affairs when supposedly objective scientists are prepared to lie to support their beliefs.

  1. quaesoveritas permalink
    November 13, 2017 12:20 pm

    Nobody should be surprised by this.
    All China promised was to reduce its “carbon intensity”, not overall emissions.
    “It is a sad state of affairs when supposedly objective scientists are prepared to lie to support their beliefs.”
    Think they may genuinely believe what they are saying.
    Unfortunately they have been brainwashed by their own propaganda.

    • Adrian permalink
      November 13, 2017 12:33 pm

      Well you could say that.

      It’s a terrible misunderstanding of science works, not the principle but the reality. The main job of any worker, whether burger-flipper or learned prof, is keeping his job, (probably applies to learned burger-flippers too I guess.

      There is no ‘free’ funding. Go against the desires of the funder and you get no more dosh. No dosh, no post. Trust me on this.

      • Broadlands permalink
        November 13, 2017 1:13 pm

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it! ” – Upton Sinclair

      • Sheri permalink
        November 13, 2017 4:58 pm

        Interesting. The same appears to be true of the US Congress—their #1 job is to get re-elected.

      • November 14, 2017 12:25 pm

        Sheri–we are working to break that trend.

  2. NeilC permalink
    November 13, 2017 12:58 pm

    “Emissions barely rose at all in 2014-2016, despite steady growth in GDP, leading some to suggest that humanity had turned the corner in tackling climate change”

    As if humanity can change the climate to any measurable effect. Nature will do what nature does irrespective of human activity.

    These people, so called scientists, are deluded.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    November 13, 2017 1:17 pm

    “Atmospheric CO2 concentrations reached 403 parts per million last year and are expected to rise another 2.5ppm in 2017. They are likely now the highest they’ve been in at least 3 million years.”

    But 33 million years ago?

    “Geological and geochemical evidence indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet formed during the Eocene–Oligocene transition 33.5–34.0 million years ago. During maximum ice-sheet growth, pCO2 was between 450 and 1,500 p.p.m.v., with a central estimate of 760 p.p.m.v.”

    Paul N. Pearson, Gavin L. Foster, Bridget S. Wade
    Nature 461, 1110-1113 (22 October 2009)

    • HotScot permalink
      November 13, 2017 4:05 pm


      You only need go back to 1942 when measured atmospheric CO2 was at 430ppm.

      This was, of course, superseded by palaeoclimatology which is, of course, more accurate than observational science……….~Ahem~

      • November 14, 2017 12:29 pm

        1942? Didn’t Mikey Mann remove that year along with other pesky things such as the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age from the historic record?

  4. John Palmer permalink
    November 13, 2017 1:37 pm

    Do you think it’s possible that there may be another COP shindig coming along soon?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 13, 2017 1:57 pm

      I think they have lots planned. I am just surprised they chose Bonn in November and not some sunny resort. Perhaps they still think it is the capital of Germany.

      • November 13, 2017 2:45 pm

        It was meant to be in Fiji, but many delegates complained about having to have meetings underwater in scuba gear.

  5. Gerry, England permalink
    November 13, 2017 1:58 pm

    Tyndall Centre? ‘Nuff said.

  6. Robin Guenier permalink
    November 13, 2017 2:24 pm

    I’ve ceased to be surprised that people who’s job it is to know better clearly haven’t read the Paris Agreement and the INDCs.

    See for example this report: It’s about developing countries’ demand at the current Bonn conference that developed countries state what actions (re emission reduction and funding transfers) they will take before 2020. In criticising this, Elina Bardram – who is head of the EU delegation in Bonn – is reported to have “emphasised the need to move from the Kyoto Protocol, which binds only industrialised nations, to the Paris Agreement, a universal deal for all countries to take action”. But that’s not what was agreed in Paris. It’s absurd that someone in her position doesn’t know that.

    • Mick J permalink
      November 13, 2017 4:56 pm

      This reprint of a blog post at GWPF may also interest. Also draws attention to what they may have actually signed up to. It questions the validity and vagaries of the establishment of the pre-industrial global average against which future measurements are being made and liabilities arising on those that may be called upon to shell out.

    • November 14, 2017 12:32 pm

      President Donald Trump read the Paris Climate Agreement which is why he pulled us out. Not only that, but for those who listened to his White House Rose Garden announcement, he laid out the facts of the “Agreement” and why the United States was scramming from it. His reasoning was very thorough and very logical.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        November 15, 2017 8:14 am

        I agree. Here’s the Trump statement. I’m sure those who pontificate about the Paris Agreement without having read it haven’t read that either. This was confirmed at the Bonn climate conference yesterday: LINK. George David Banks, Trump’s climate adviser, told an impromptu meeting that a top priority for the US was to get rid of the developing country / developed country bifurcation – a distinction whereby the Paris Agreement exempts major economies such as China, India, South Korea and Iran from having to make emission cuts, putting the entire burden on the West. The article claimed that “the Paris agreement was supposed to overcome” that. “The Paris deal blurred that line” it says. But it quite clearly didn’t, as was confirmed by a senior Chinese negotiator:

        “Although we heard some different views from the developed world that we’re entering into a new world without differentiation among developing and developed countries. I think that is not the truth.”

        That the Chinese understand this and Western commentators don’t is another illustration of how the West has been taken for a ride.

  7. November 13, 2017 2:54 pm

    This is good news! It implies that there is world economic growth (and particularly in 3rd world countries) and a likely increase in crop yields. It should help to reduce economic migration – everyone wins!

    • tom0mason permalink
      November 13, 2017 6:41 pm


  8. Steve Titcombe permalink
    November 13, 2017 3:18 pm

    Good news indeed:the greater the discrepancy between the “increasing CO2” trend and the “17-year warming pause” the sooner the general public are going to realise that the whole thing was a scam from the onset. If CO2 were to start falling (therby matching recent temperature trends), the Greens (left-wing totalitarians) would have been able to propogate their lie that AGW is true and that they are the saviours of mankind.

  9. DB Cooper permalink
    November 13, 2017 3:52 pm

    This year has had below normal hurricane activity. The longer term trend is flat. 84% of normal for 2017 as of Nov 12

  10. Broadlands permalink
    November 13, 2017 3:53 pm

    This rise makes it even harder for “us” to lower carbon emissions to zero. And even harder to capture-and-store an even larger amount of atmospheric CO2. 37 billion tons adds another 74 parts per million to the 50 ppm “we” are supposed to geologically rebury, technologically and safely. The cost, per ton? Absurd. Is anyone paying attention up there in “leadership” (besides Mr. Trump)?

  11. Athelstan permalink
    November 13, 2017 5:04 pm

    “However, carbon releases rose sharply again in 2017, with fossil fuel emissions hitting a new all-time record of 37 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.”

    Fekkin nonsense figures – unsurprisingly.

    Anyway, lets see, erm wow oh yes – last year and seemingly forever, the climate ‘experts’ were informing us that 2017 was the warmest evah!

    In the main, on the land, as Ts rise, imperceptibly so too does CO2, it’s a natural thing and China is continuing to pump ever more man made emissions into the atmosphere not that it counts very much.

    Lordy and flippin ‘eck, so 403ppm gonna be more ‘death dealing’ than is 399ppm? and anyway the numbers, atmospheric concentration of CO₂ can also decline during a strong La Nina period, as nature folds itself away – ever so slightly and heavens think!

    Panic – maybe, we still are in a interglacial warming period – do not forget it.

    • Dung permalink
      November 13, 2017 5:19 pm

      That is exactly where we are Athels and nobody knows whether it will end back in a full ice age or whether the planet will warm (so not a good time to make long terms plans hehe).

      • Athelstan permalink
        November 13, 2017 8:48 pm

        “(so not a good time to make long terms plans hehe).”

        I do chuckle Dung and – that statement is so VERY true.

  12. November 13, 2017 10:07 pm

    This entire article is full of lies and fear mongering. If man produced 37 billion tons of CO2, and man accounts for 3% of the total CO2 emissions, then nature produced 1250 billion tons of CO2. The CO2 atmospheric concentration readings are taken on the slopes of Kilaweah in Hawaii, an active volcano. I believe that might skew the readings. Interestingly, it was the presence of 2 strong COLD fronts that gave Houston so much rain. The 2 COLD fronts blocked the hurricane from moving away from the area. It is unusual for there to be 2 COLD fronts in the area this early in the year. There has been no rise in the average sea temperatures worldwide. The reason the sea levels seem high is the moon is closer to the earth than it has been in 70 years, creating higher, and lower, tides. So, Chicken Little, the sky is NOT falling, and the world will muddle on without needing to be concerned about “climate change” destroying the earth.

    • November 14, 2017 12:46 pm

      I was about to remark on the Chicken Little situation, but you already had. There is another advantage of the Chicken Little scenario. After some time with the “sky is falling” cluck, they quit believing her. The left always overstates their case. They do not seem to equate the eventual deleterious effects to “the cause” with their never-ending and louder drumbeats.

      As Rush Limbaugh frequently points out with the left’s constant fear mongering: “people have only so much emotion to devote and after a time, with the constant rachetting up of the latest scare, they tune out.

  13. quaesoveritas permalink
    November 14, 2017 10:50 am

    Yesterday on BBC News, Matt McGrath was partially attributing the increase in China’s emissions to the lack of rainfall, and consequent reduction in Hydro-Electric power generation.
    So ultimately, “climate change” is to blame for the increase in CO2 emissions.
    He also said. “while there is no clear science on the subject, many negotiators are linking that rise (in CO2) to the growth in extreme weather events across the planet, this year.”
    So otherwise, the negotiators are making that link, when there is no scientific evidence to support it and no real evidence that “extreme weather events” are actually increasing.

    • November 14, 2017 12:48 pm

      Since when did we need evidence? You must be a “science denier” along with me.

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