This year, nations are projected to emit roughly 36.6 billion tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide by burning coal, natural gas and oil for energy, according to new data from the Global Carbon Project. That’s 1 percent more than the world emitted in 2021 and slightly more than the previous record in 2019, which came before the coronavirus pandemic caused a temporary drop in global energy use and emissions.
The findings were released at the United Nations climate change summit in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, where world leaders have gathered to discuss how to avert catastrophic levels of warming. Scientists have warned that the world as a whole will need to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by around midcentury in order to stabilize global temperatures and minimize the risks from deadly heat waves, sea-level rise and ecosystem collapse. That deadline is getting harder to hit, experts said, with each passing year. “Every year that emissions go up makes it that much more challenging to bring them back down again by a certain date,” said Glen Peters, a research director at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, who is one of more than 100 scientists involved in the research.