BAD NEWS FIRST: The International Energy Agency reports that global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of 31.6 billion tons, even though the U.S. posted its lowest emissions since the mid-1990s.
CHINA CHURNING: In its annual World Energy Outlook report, the IEA said top carbon polluter China had the largest emissions growth last year, up 300 million tons, or 3.8 percent, from 2011. Still, the increase was among the lowest seen in a decade as China continues to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
BILL COMES DUE: Climate scientists have warned that the global temperature rise could have catastrophic consequences such as flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, and the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.
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