Record Level GHG Emissions

Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, according to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The watchdog group says emissions rose again after a dip caused by the financial crisis in 2009, and ended 5% up from the previous record in 2008.

China and India account for most of the rise, though emissions have also grown elsewhere.

The increase raises doubts over whether planned curbs on greenhouse gas emissions will be achieved.

At a meeting last year in Cancun, Mexico, world leaders agreed that deep cuts were needed to limit the rise in global temperature to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.

"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," said Dr Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the IEA who oversees the annual World Energy Outlook, the Agency’s flagship publication.

In terms of fuels, 44% of the estimated CO2 emissions in 2010 came from coal, 36% from oil, and 20% from natural gas.

The challenge of improving and maintaining quality of life for people in all countries while limiting CO2 emissions has never been greater.  "Our latest estimates are another wake-up call," said Dr Birol.

Read more on the BBC News or on the IEA website.