2015 was the warmest year, GHG emissions continue to increase

2015 was the warmest year since records began in 1880. Today greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction have the priority, we can review what the latest climate data are telling us about the challenges of climate change represents.

Recent data reveals that global CO2 emissions were 150 times higher in 2011 than they were in 1850. United States was the world’s second-largest emitter in 161 years, its emissions in 2011 were 266 times greater than those in 1850.

Today, the world’s largest emitters are China, the United States and the European Union (28). Together, they account for nearly half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The top 10 GHG emitters contribute 72% of global emissions (31502.5 MtCO₂e), excluding emissions from land use change and forestry. Explore emissions by countries and sectors through the graphic below.

Future Emissions projections

Our dependence on fossil fuels has to be reduced to cut emissions and these depend on a large variety of assumptions. The charts below show the projected emissions trajectory of China, United States and India until 2040.

The graph shows us three different pathways, published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the Chinese government. All three scenarios show the trajectory of emissions if the country takes no additional emissions-reduction actions. They have a wide range: IEA estimates 12.9 GtCO₂ in 2040 — 57 percent higher than their number in 2012—while EIA estimates 14.9 GtCO₂ in 2040, 66 percent higher than their 2012 number.

The graph down shows U.S. emission projections supplied by the U.S. government, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)1. The U.S. government estimates2 that emissions are projected to rise again from 2015-2030 after a decrease from 2005-2015. However, the other two projections both see the United States reducing its emissions through 2030.

For India, the scenarios presented show a wide range of emissions pathways. The Indian government’s emissions projection in 2030 is higher than IEA’s and nearly double that of EIA’s 2030 projection.

For more data projections by country you can see the CAIT Projections module.

Emissions by sectors

The most important sectors involved on GHG emissions are; energy production—including electricity, transport and manufacturing— with the majority of emissions globally, industrial, agriculture and waste with 1495.29 MtCO₂e.

Comparing emissions by sector we could say that the waste represents a very low impact regarding energy, but if we look at long term, in the last 20 years waste accumulated emissions arrives 30359.30 MtCO₂e. Global waste production represents today 1.6 – 2.0 billion tons a year.

Waste emissions is not the only effect, it is a big health and contamination issue. How to solve this? How to reduce the energy emissions? Is very simple, waste is a free or low cost feedstock with which we can produce energy. Today EAWC waste to energy (EAWC-WtE) system can help to reduce GHG emissions. EAWC can produce heating, silicates, fresh water, fertilizers, fuel and the most important electricity, for each ton of waste you can produce 1Mw/h. The EAWC-WtE process is not a burning process, and it should not be confused with an incinerator. The produced "Synthetic Gas" can be used to power an internal combustion engine or a turbine to run an electricity generator. In this way we can completely eliminate waste emissions and reduce energy sector GHG impact.


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