London, 22 September 2014 – BNP Paribas today announced that 2013 data from the Global Carbon Project, to which around thirty laboratories worldwide have contributed, is now available on Global Carbon Atlas – www.globalcarbonatlas.org, a platform which has been set up by the Paris-based Climate and Environmental Sciences Laboratory (LSCE) with the support of the BNP Paribas Foundation. The figures show that global CO2 emissions continued to rise last year, steadily eroding any chance of limiting global warming to an increase of 2°C by 2100.
Rising emissions, trend likely to continue
Global CO2 emissions, which arise from burning fossil fuels and activities such as the production of cement, continue to grow rapidly. In total, 36 billion tons of CO2 were emitted in 2013, an increase of 2.3% on 2012.
This upward trend can be found in all the world’s major economies:
– In China emissions rose 4.2% last year. This is however a slower rate of increase than that recorded over the last decade, the improvement being due partly to the country’s economic slowdown and partly to the efforts being made to reduce the economy’s dependency on fossil fuels.
– In the United States, emissions rose by 2.9%, due mainly to increased use of coal in 2013.
– In India, emissions increased by 5.1%, due for the most part to the country’s economic growth.
– In Europe, emissions fell by 1.8% in 2013, mainly as a consequence of the economic slowdown on the continent.
Given the projections for worldwide economic growth, the current trend will – in the absence of any countervailing policy measures – probably continue at least until 2019.
This observed trend towards continually rising emissions means that considerable efforts will be required to limit the increase in average surface temperature of our planet to the target of 2°C by 2100.
Having set a target of limiting the increase in the average temperature of the planet to 2°C by the end of the century, humanity has already released into the atmosphere some two thirds of the total permissible greenhouse gas emissions. If emissions continue along today’s path, the projected total will be reached in the next 30 years, i.e. in a single generation.
Philippe Ciais, a Senior Researcher at LSCE, pointed out that: “The sharp increase in CO2 emissions compared with our ‘quota’ of future emissions permissible if we wish to avoid global warming of more than 2°C clearly demonstrates that we now need to take decisive action without delay to decouple economic growth from increases in emissions so as to substantially reduce CO2 output.”
Laurence Pessez, Head of CSR at BNP Paribas, underlined: “The Global Carbon Atlas is a brilliant tool, not only for policy makers but also for financial institutions, to help assess national or sectorial climate risks and policies. BNP Paribas expects the Global Carbon Atlas to play an important role in the climate debate, especially in the run-up to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) next year in Paris.”
Global Carbon Atlas: visualising CO2 emissions and learning more about the carbon cycle
All the latest data on CO2 emissions from fossil fuels for 2013 can be consulted freely on the Global Carbon Atlas, an online application created by scientists at LSCE and the community of research laboratories worldwide that are taking part in the Global Carbon Project, which the BNP Paribas Foundation supports.
For the first time this year, the Global Carbon Atlas is now available in five languages – English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese – at www.globalcarbonatlas.org. It provides rigorous data published in the scientific literature, based on observations and models which quantify anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and natural carbon sinks. The website incorporates interactive visualisation tools which generate maps and infographics, whose underlying data is traceable to scientific sources and thus mutually comparable.