Carbon dioxide emissions from advanced economies will rise in 2018 for the first time in five years, the International Energy Agency reports, marking a setback for the global campaign to fend off the worst effects of climate change.
Energy-related carbon emissions from North America, Europe and developed nations in the Asia-Pacific region are set to rise by about a half a percent this year, according to a preliminary assessment from the IEA. Over the past five years, the group saw its emissions fall by 3 percent.
The increase is being driven by higher energy use as the global economy grows at a brisk pace. While wealthy nations continue to move away from burning coal, rising oil and natural gas consumption in those economies is increasing carbon emissions, the agency says.
The report comes as the nations of the world gather in Katowice, Poland, for a United Nations meeting to assess their progress cutting greenhouse gas emissions since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The accord aims to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.