‘Reality check’: Global CO2 emissions shooting back to record levels

(The Guardian, 4 Nov 2021) Fossil fuels are surging in post-pandemic recovery as scientists warn 1.5C emission limits will be reached in 11 years.

Global carbon emissions are shooting back to the record level seen before the coronavirus pandemic levels, new analysis has shown. Scientists said the finding is a “reality check” for the world’s nations gathered at the Cop26 climate summit.

The emissions driving the climate crisis reached their highest ever levels in 2019, before global coronavirus lockdowns saw them fall by 5.4%. However, fossil fuel burning has surged faster than expected in 2021, the international research team said, in stark contrast to the rapid cuts needed to tackle global heating.

The data shows world leaders have failed to build back greener, with just a small proportion of pandemic spending going to sustainable sectors. But the scientists said hopes of keeping global heating to 1.5C remain alive if Cop26 leads to rapid global action.

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The Guardian, 4 Nov 2021: ‘Reality check’: Global CO2 emissions shooting back to record levels