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Global CO2 emissions have been flat for a decade, new data reveals

Zeke Hausfather writes in Carbon Brief that new data reveals that global carbon emissions may have been flat for a decade.

The C3 Take
  • The Global Carbon Project estimates that fossil fuel emissions will reach 36.4bn tonnes of CO2 in 2021 which is only .8% below their pre-pandemic high of 36.7bn tonnes in 2019.
  • The Global Carbon Project has also reassessed historical emissions from land use change, to reveal that overall CO2 output may have been effectively flat over the past decade.
  • Through continued conservation, energy innovation, and investments in clean technologies, we can continue to lower global emissions.

“Previously, the GCP data showed global CO2 emissions increasing by an average of 1.4 GtCO2 per year between 2011 and 2019 – prior to Covid-related emissions declines. The new revised dataset shows that global CO2 emissions were essentially flat – increasing by only 0.1GtCO2 per year from 2011 and 2019. When 2020 and 2021 are included, the new GCP data actually shows slightly declining global emissions over the past decade, though this should be treated with caution due to the temporary nature of Covid-related declines.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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