Carbon emissions are expected to hit a record level this year, with China leading a 2 percent surge after three years of stagnant to slight increases, The New York Times reports.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia partnered with the Global Carbon Project to study global emissions, thought to be peaking after years of little change. China’s emissions, however, will rise by a projected 3.5 percent in 2017, mainly due to burning coal, according to TheNYT.

“China is the biggest emitter, so whatever happens in China has an immediate imprint on the globe,” University of East Anglia’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Director Corinne Le Quere told the Washington Examiner. “The big question is whether this is a new trend in China or just this year. It looks a bit more like it may be a one-year blip, with activity slowing towards the end of the year, but it’s too early to know for sure.”

The new report disputes a study by the international environmental group Greenpeace. The Greenpeace study predicted China’s emissions would fall by 1 percent in 2017, which the organization used to laud China for “taking the lead on climate change,” the UK Express reported at the time.

“China is ploughing money into renewables and reining in its addiction to coal,” Greenpeace Global Policy Adviser Li Shuo told the Express. “These trends give some hope that the global peak in emissions might well be within reach but only if all major emitters break free from fossil fuels and reduce emissions.”

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller


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