The International Energy Agency has reported that energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions reached their highest ever level in 2010. It seems the prospect of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial temperatures) is disappearing at a similar rate to arctic sea-ice. Much of the rise came from rapidly developing nations including China – 75% of emissions growth came from non-OECD nations in 2010.
Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist said “This significant increase in CO2 emissions and the locking in of future emissions due to infrastructure investments represent a serious setback to our hopes of limiting the global rise in temperature to no more than 2ºC.”
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said "this is the inconvenient truth of where human-generated greenhouse-gas emissions are projected to go without much stronger international action now and into the future."
Emissions seem likely to continue to rise in the near-term as some western economies recover and emissions continue to grow in the developing world.