According to the preliminary reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global Carbon-dioxide emissions from combustion of fossil-fuel have risen more than expected, with a record high of 31.6 Gt (gigatonnes) in 2011, thanks to a huge jump in Chinese emissions. Worldwide carbon emissions rose to 3.2 percent in 2011, representing an increase of 1 gigatonnes. Carbon was responsible for about 45 percent of the overall energy related carbon-dioxide emissions, followed by oil with 35 percent and natural gas 20 percent. Carbon emissions also declined in the United States and Europe but not enough to counter China's 9.3 percent rise.
After getting affected by the financial crisis and recession in 2009, global CO2 emissions recorded their highest mark in 2010, representing a 5 percent rise from the previous year record. Emissions dropped to 1.7 percent in the U.S. and 1.9 percent in Europe, thanks to the sluggish economies, an exceptionally mild-winter and high consumption of natural gas than coal. U.S. carbon emissions have fallen tremendously since 2006 by 7.7 percent, the largest decline compared to other countries. China, on the other hand, raced ahead in 2010 with carbon emissions rising to 8.3 billion tons, making China solely responsible for a quarter of global CO2 emissions from energy.
The Chief Economist of IEA, Fatih Birol said according to the data provided, that the door to a 2 degrees Celsius trajectory is about to close. Scientists confirmed that nations cannot emit more than 1.5 trillion tones of CO2 by 2050 to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To ensure global temperature rise stays below 2 degrees Celsius, CO2 emissions should not exceed over 44 billion metric tons by 2020, according to reports.
The increase in CO2 emissions in 2011 with more than half-billion tons of carbon entering the air, was the largest rise in terms of percentage since 2003 and the highest in any year since the Industrial Revolution. According to reports, China is the world's largest emitter of CO2, followed by United States, European Union and India. Increasing use of fossil fuels, driven by growing demand in rapidly industrializing countries, is the main driver behind rise in CO2 emissions.