Global emissions of carbon dioxide were at a record high in 2011 and are likely to take a similar jump in 2012, scientists reported Sunday - the latest indication that efforts to limit such emissions are failing.
Emissions continue to grow so rapidly that an international goal of limiting the ultimate warming of the planet to 3.6 degrees, established three years ago, is on the verge of becoming unattainable, said researchers affiliated with the Global Carbon Project.
Josep G. Canadell, a scientist in Australia who leads that tracking program, said Sunday in a statement that salvaging the goal, if it can be done at all, "requires an immediate, large and sustained global mitigation effort."
Yet nations around the world, despite a formal treaty pledging to limit warming - and 20 years of negotiations aimed at putting it into effect - have shown little appetite for the kinds of controls required to accomplish those stated aims.
Delegates from nearly 200 nations are meeting in Doha, Qatar, for the latest round of talks under the treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Their agenda is modest this year, with no new emissions targets and little progress expected on a protocol that is supposed to be concluded in 2015 and take effect in 2020.