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Infographic – Post-Covid CO2 Emissions Rebound

Chart: Global CO2 emissions

Click on image for full-size view. (Statista)

6 Nov. 2021. As the world’s economy recovers from pandemic restrictions, rising carbon dioxide emissions are also contributing to the global climate crisis. On Thursday, the business research company Statista published a chart with these data from the International Energy Agency, compiled for delegates to the UN global climate summit known as COP26, now underway.

The IEA data report on annual CO2 emissions, measured in billions of metric tons or gigatonnes, while the Statista chart displays year to year changes in total emissions. The data and chart show annual CO2 emissions declined from 33.4 to 31.5 gigatonnes, from 2019 to 2020, largely due to mandated lock-downs for slowing the spread of Covid-19. So far in 2021, as vaccinations increase and lock-downs ease, emissions rose to 33 gigatonnes, almost reaching 2019 levels. The previous annual high point in CO2 emissions occurred in 2018, at 33.5 gigatonnes.

IEA’s analysis also breaks down the source of global CO2 emissions by type of fuel. Most of the increased emissions in 2021 are a result of burning oil and coal in roughly equal amounts, and natural gas to a lesser extent. The agency also says the U.S. and China are responsible for much of the gains in emissions.

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