Study: carbon emissions will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022

Dramatic reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the introduction of

government bans will be practicallycanceled out by the end of this year. Fossil fuel carbon emissions are projected to rise to 36.4 billion tonnes in 2021, up 4.9% from last year. The rapid recovery, driven in part by growing demand for coal in China and India, suggests that emissions will start to rise next year.

The report also provides new estimates of emissionsas a result of land use - for example, when forests are cleared to make way for pasture. Despite rising emissions from fossil fuels, the consortium estimates that cumulative carbon emissions have not changed over the past decade. However, land use trends are difficult to predict. “It is too early to judge how sustainable emissions from land use are,” said Julia Pongratz.

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The Global Carbon Project estimates that emissionscarbon from fossil fuels fell 5.4% in 2020 as pandemic restrictions closed restaurants and factories, planes did not fly and borders were closed. Most scientists expect emissions to return to their previous level, but cannot accurately predict the pace of recovery and the actions that governments plan to take with regard to green energy.

“We see that the demand that is nowrecoverable, mostly satisfied with fossil fuels, ”said Stephen Davis, a planet systems scientist at the University of California. "And with oil demand still lower than before the pandemic thanks to reduced use of road and air transport, scientists expect emissions to rise as more countries lift their restrictions related to the pandemic."

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