Worst ever emissions: a disaster but not surprising

Everyone is very worked up about this story today:

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency.

The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius – which scientists say is the threshold for potentially “dangerous climate change” – is likely to be just “a nice Utopia”, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions 

Obviously it’s disastrous that emissions are still going up, but why is everyone so apparently surprised about this? As far as I can make out, it’s exactly on trend, just corrected post the worst of the recession. I’ve scribbled on this IEA graph to show what I mean:

Global emissions trend

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