A new report from the International Energy Agency says global temperatures will rise twice as fast as projected if countries don't act to slash their admissions soon. Released this morning, the IEA report shows carbon diaoxide from energy emissions rose 1.4 percent globally last year, a new record, and puts the world on pace for a 5.3 degree Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in global temperatures by 2020 if new steps aren't taken. In 2010, a UN summit agreed the goal would be to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees by 2020.
"This puts us on a difficult and dangerous trajectory," IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said in her statement. "If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in."
So, who are the culprits most responsible for the world's bad record so far? China and Japan are two big culprits. They saw 3.8 and 5.8 percent rises in emissions, respectively. Countries in the Middle East were also singled out. Amazingly, the U.S. earned a gold star for their work, per The Washington Post:
The United States was one of the few relatively bright spots in the report. Switches from coal to shale gas accounted for about half the nation’s 3.8 percent drop in energy-related emissions, which fell for the fourth time in the past five years, dipping to a level last seen in the 1990s. The other factors were a mild winter, declining demand for gasoline and diesel, and the increasing use of renewable energy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.