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Global carbon emissions back with vengeance after lockdown year

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Fossil carbon emissions that had dropped by 5.4 per cent in 2020 amid Covid lockdowns, are set to increase by 4.9 per cent this year (4.1 per cent to 5.7 per cent) to 36.4 billion tonnes, a new report has projected.

According to the Global Carbon Project, emissions from coal and gas use are set to grow more in 2021 than they fell in 2020, but emissions from oil use remain below 2019 levels.

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The research team, including from the University of Exeter, the University of East Anglia, CICERO, and Stanford University, said a further rise in emissions in 2022 cannot be ruled out if road transport and aviation return to pre-pandemic levels and coal use is stable, a release said.

The findings come as world leaders meet at COP26 in Glasgow to address the climate crisis and try to agree on a plan of action going forward.

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“The rapid rebound in emissions as economies recover from the pandemic reinforces the need for immediate global action on climate change,” said Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, who led the study.

The report – the 16th annual Global Carbon Budget – produced the following analysis on major emitters. The researchers put a disclaimer that the figures excluded international transport, particularly aviation.

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China witnessed a rise to 4 per cent rise compared to 2020, reaching 5.5. per cent above 2019, a total of 11.1 billion CO2, i.e., 31 per cent of global emissions.

In the US, emissions are projected to rise 7.6 per cent compared to 2020, reaching 3.7 per cent below 2019 – a total of 5.1 billion tonnes CO2, or 14 per cent of global emissions.

EU27’s emissions are projected to rise 7.6 per cent compared to 2020, reaching 4.2 per cent below 2019 – a total of 2.8 billion tonnes CO2, or 7 per cent of global emissions.

The report said India’s emissions are projected to rise 12.6 per cent compared to 2020, reaching 4.4 per cent above 2019 – a total of 2.7 billion tonnes CO2, or 7 per cent of global emissions.

For the rest of the world taken as a whole, fossil CO2 emissions remain below 2019 levels.

Royal Society Research Professor at UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, Prof Corinne Le Quere, who contributed to this year’s analysis, said: “It will take some time to see the full effect of the Covid-related disruptions on global CO2 emissions. A lot of progress has been made in de-carbonising global energy since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, plus renewables is the only energy source that continued to grow during the pandemic. New investments and strong climate policy now need to support the green economy much more systematically and push fossil fuels out of the equation.”

–IANS

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