CO2 emissions to witness second-biggest surge ever, warns UN agency ahead of global climate summit

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Apr 20, 2021, 06:34 PM(IST)

The Paris accord aims to reduce emission of greenhouse gases by all countries and bring the average world temperature well below 2 degree Celsius. Photograph:( Reuters )

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In effect, this would reverse the decline seen last year when lockdowns were imposed across the globe to stop the spread of COVID-19

CO2 emissions responsible for climate change are expected to increase in 2021, marking the second-biggest surge in history. The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its annual Global Energy Review said that CO2 levels are set to increase by almost five per cent in 2021 to 33 billion tonnes.

In effect, this would reverse the decline seen last year when lockdowns were imposed across the globe to stop the spread of COVID-19, which continues to infect people even now.

Even then, the IEA said that the levels of CO2 emissions will remain below 2019 levels. But the energy demand across the globe is set to surpass 2019 levels. Both coal and gas are expected to rise above pre-pandemic feels.

"Global carbon emissions are set to jump by 1.5 billion tonnes this year –- driven by the resurgence of coal use in the power sector,"  IEA's Executive Director, Fatih Birol, was quoted as saying in a statement by news agency AFP.

Also read: UK to vow 78% reduction in emissions by 2035, new report claims

The IEA has predicted a 4.5 per cent jump in coal demand, which will surpass levels from 2019 and could near 2014 levels, which were at an all-time high. 

The major rise in coal demand comes from Asia, primarily China. But the US and Europe are also going to witness surges.

Also read: China needs to halve power sector emissions by 2030 to meet climate goals: Study

The Leaders Summit on Climate will be hosted by US President Joe Biden on Thursday and Friday. Nations will meet to pledge action before the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Glasgow in November.

(With inputs from agencies)

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