Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached a historical maximum of 30.6 billion metric tons in 2010, up 5% from the previous record set in 2008, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Monday.
The emissions, which stood at record 29.3 in 2008, dropped in 2009 amid economic recession, but again increased sharply in 2010. Coal accounted for 44% of all carbon dioxide emitted, with oil and natural gas making up 36% and 20%, respectively.
"Our latest estimates are another wake-up call," said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol. "The world has edged incredibly close to the level of emissions that should not be reached until 2020 if the two degree C target is to be attained."
To achieve the target of limiting temperature increase to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), set by global leaders at a climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, last year, the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be limited to around 450 parts per million of CO2-equivalent. The amount stood at 430 parts per million in 2000, so only a five percent increase is permissible.
MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti)