Report: Fossil fuel emissions hit record high

Global greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels and industry is on track to jump 2 per cent in 2017, according to a new report.

The rise follows a three-year period which global CO2 emissions barely grew.

The Global Carbon Budget has been released as world leaders and delegates arrive in Bonn for high level climate talks (COP23) this week.

International climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said the landmark report from the Global Carbon Project serves as a timely warning, as the critical window of opportunity to tackle climate change begins to close.

“This should serve as yet another urgent alarm, highlighting the importance for every country to do their part to cut carbon pollution levels – and Australia is no exception,” he said.

The report outlines China’s economic boom has played a significant factor in the resumption of growing greenhouse pollution levels, with the nation expecting a 3.5 per cent increase as a result of the burning of coal, oil and gas, combined with a decline in the use of hydropower, following a drought period.

“However, there are positives to note, with carbon pollution levels continuing to drop in the US and in Europe,” Prof Steffen said.

“The global increase in the rollout of renewable energy and storage technology has also played a role in the recent global slowdown of pollution levels, with wind and solar generation replacing ageing, inefficient and expensive coal and gas.”

Professor Steffen also pointed to a series of extreme weather records that have been broken over the last decade as a result of worsening climate change, while 2017 is also expected to become the third warmest year on record.

“This data proves that we are now rolling backwards when it comes to tackling climate change at global level,” he said.