by Eric Holthaus, Grist
If the world is going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Last year, we took another lurching step toward planetary catastrophe.
Demand for coal, oil, and natural gas hit new all-time highs in 2018, according to a worrying new report from the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization that compiles statistics on global energy use.
IEA data released on Monday show that nearly every major economy on Earth boosted its use of polluting energy sources. Continuing on like this amounts to knowingly sentencing the world to an unlivable future.
The report provides further evidence that the world’s two biggest emitters, the United States and China, are choosing to switch from coal to natural gas, not coal to renewables. While natural gas is often touted as being lower in CO2 emissions than coal, it still releases plenty of CO2 as well as methane — an even more powerful greenhouse gas. The move could lock in decades of emissions.