Global carbon emissions at record high: IEA

From Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110530/wl_uk_afp/warmingemissionsairpollutionclimate

Mon May 30, 8:40 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – Carbon-dioxide emissions hit a record high last year, the International Energy Agency said on Monday, dimming the prospects of limiting the global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

“Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, according to the latest estimates,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a statement.

After a dip in 2009 caused by the global financial crisis, emissions are estimated to have climbed to a record 30.6 gigatonnes (Gt), a five percent jump from the previous record year in 2008, when levels reached 29.3 Gt, the IEA said.

Moreover, the IEA estimated that 80 percent of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020 are already locked in, as they will come from power plants that are currently in place or under construction today.

“This significant increase in CO2 emissions and the locking in of future emissions due to infrastructure investments represent a serious setback to our hopes of limiting the global rise in temperature to no more than two degrees C,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist.

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