Despite an economic crisis dubbed the “great recession,” carbon emissions grew last year by two percent, to a total of 8.7 billions of carbon. Last year, every person in the world produced an average of 1.3 tons of carbon, according to a report by the Global Carbon Project. During 2000 to 2008, the growth rate of atmospheric carbon increased 1.9 parts per million (ppm) a year, up from 1.3 ppm during 1970 to 1979.
This decade, emissions grew at an average rate of 3.6 percent a year, up from one percent a year in the 1990s. Carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in 2008 were 41 percent higher than 1990. Since 2000, the combined emissions from fossil fuels and land use increased by over three percent a year, up from 1.9 percent from 1959 to 1999. The growth of carbon emissions, according to the report, is driven by population, per capita GDP, and the carbon intensity of GDP.Click to continue reading »