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Carbon Dioxide Emissions Were Lower in 2022, But They're Still Increasing


Global growth in emissions was "not as high as some had originally feared amid the disruptions caused by the global energy crisis," but experts are saying that's not good enough.

Over 36.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were released last year, according to a report from The International Energy Agency.

The study found that emissions in 2022 were lower than those in 2021, meaning that global growth in emissions was "not as high as some had originally feared amid the disruptions caused by the global energy crisis."

While it was a marked improvement, emission rates still increased by 0.9 percent. The IEA study emphasized the importance of continuing to reduce global CO2 emissions to reach world climate goals, stating that “emissions still remain on an unsustainable growth trajectory.”

“The apparent slowdown in carbon emissions last year is no cause for celebration," said Antoine Halff, founding partner of environmental analytics company Kayrros, via The Hill. "This is not a positive achievement flowing from virtuous climate policies, but rather a byproduct of Russian aggression and its adverse effect on European energy-intensive industries on the one hand, and on the other hand, the nefarious effect of China’s public health policies on its economy.”

The IEA report noted that emissions from the European Union decreased last year, with China's rate remaining relatively the same as it was in 2021. On the other hand, the United States increased emissions by 0.8 percent.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to prevent global temperatures from rising, emissions must be reduced by over 40 percent. Daniel Lashof, director of the World Resources Institute, added that while lowered emission rates are a positive development, they are not nearly enough.

“A smaller increase than ‘initially feared’ is a far cry from the rapid emission reductions the world needs to see to avoid the worst impacts of global warming," he said. "So, any increase in emissions, even a small one, means we are getting further and further off course."

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