Sunday, March 21, 2021

Global CO2 emissions are rebounding to pre-pandemic levels

According to the Global Carbon Project, world's fossil CO2-related emissions have dropped by about 2.6 GtCO2 in 2020 to 34 GtCO2 (see figure below). This  decrease, which is equivalent to EU's annual GHG emissions, was caused mainly by the measures taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is about 7% below 2019 levels, while, in most countries, daily emissions decreased at the peak of the country’s lockdown by on average 27%.

At the same time, the cuts of 1–2 GtCO2 per year are needed throughout the 2020s and beyond to avoid exceeding warming levels in the range 1.5 °C to well below 2 °C, the  goals of the Paris Agreement [ The UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019].

Unfortunately, as IEA reported,  the major economies led a rebound in December 2020 when emissions were 2%, or 60 million tonnes, higher than in December 2019, as a pick-up in economic activity increased energy demand.