IEA: Global CO2 Emissions Rise to Worrying Levels after Historic Decline in 2020


The International Energy Agency (IEA), which has compiled the new data, says ensuring that 2019 marks a definitive peak in global CO2 emissions will be "extremely challenging".

The IEA says the COVID crisis in 2020 triggered the largest annual drop in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since the Second World War.

It also says avoiding a rebound in emissions requires "rapid change" around the world in how energy is used and produced.

In April 2020, global emissions registered their largest ever monthly drop. But by December they were two per cent higher than the same month a year earlier.

"The rebound in global carbon emissions toward the end of last year is a stark warning that not enough is being done to accelerate clean energy transitions worldwide," said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director.

"If governments don't move quickly with the right energy policies, this could put at risk the world's historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions."

"In March 2020, the IEA urged governments to put clean energy at the heart of their economic stimulus plans to ensure a sustainable recovery. But our numbers show we are returning to carbon-intensive business-as-usual.

"This year is pivotal for international climate action - and it began with high hopes - but these latest numbers are a sharp reminder of the immense challenge we face in rapidly transforming the global energy system."

The IEA says major economies led the resurgence as a pick-up in economic activity pushed energy demand higher.

China, the first major economy to emerge from the pandemic and lift restrictions, saw a seven per cent increase in emissions in December 2020...

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