Fossil fuel emissions in danger of surpassing pre-Covid levels

(The Guardian, 2 Mar 2021) International Energy Agency data shows steady climb over second half of 2020.

The world has only a few months to prevent the energy industry’s carbon emissions from surpassing pre-pandemic levels this year as economies begin to rebound from Covid-19 restrictions, according to the International EnergyAgency.

New figures from the global energy watchdog found that fossil fuel emissions climbed steadily over the second half of the year as major economies began to recover. By December 2020, carbon emissions were 2% higher than in the same month the year before.

The return of rising emissions began only months after Covid-19 triggered the deepest slump in carbon dioxide output since the end of the second world war, and threatens to dash hopes that the world’s emissions might have peaked in 2019.

Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said: “We are putting the historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak of global emissions at risk. If in the next few months governments do not put the right clean energy policies in place, we may well be returning to our carbon-intensive business as usual. This is in stark contrast with the ambitious commitments made by several governments one after the other.”

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The Guardian, 2 Mar 2021: Fossil fuel emissions in danger of surpassing pre-Covid levels