Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by half in the last 20 years, giving the world much less chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, according to new data.
The research was published as lead negotiators were arriving at the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, where prospects of a new global treaty on climate change appeared to have stalled.
with deep divisions between developed and developing countries.
Last year, emissions from burning fossil fuels rose by 5.9%, bringing the total rise since 1990, the baseline year for calculating emissions under the Kyoto protocol, to 49%, an average rate of increase of about 3.1% a year.
Prof Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Ang-lia, and an author of the research, said the data showed little had been achi-eved in the past two deca-des in reducing the risks from climate change.