Global carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 crisis.

Is it too late to avoid climate change?

After a small dip during the COVID Pandemic – Global CO2 emissions rebounded to their highest level in history in 2021!!!

Global carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 crisis and relied heavily on coal to power that growth, according to new IEA analysis.

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Reasonably, many are now asking themselves: Is it already too late to change to a greener future? And what exactly do we need to achieve in order to avoid the global temperature rise & a climate disaster? We will answer these two questions in this article.

Why it’s not too late to shift into a greener future yet

The number above make clear that the global economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis has not been a sustainable recovery. We clearly fail to achieve our goals to stay below a 1.5C degree temperature rise.

Coal accounted for over 40% of the overall growth in global CO2 emissions in 2021, reaching an all-time high of 15.3 billion tonnes. CO2 emissions from natural gas rebounded well above their 2019 levels to 7.5 billion tonnes. At 10.7 billion tonnes, CO2 emissions from oil remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels because of the limited recovery in global transport activity in 2021, mainly in the aviation sector. 

But there are good news!!!

Additions of renewable power capacity are on track to set yet another annual record in 2021, driven by solar PV. Almost 290 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable power will be commissioned this year, which is 3% higher than 2020’s already exceptional growth. Solar PV alone accounts for more than half of all renewable power expansion in 2021, followed by wind and hydropower according to the IEA.

But to get renewables on track with net zero by 2050, governments not only need to address current policy and implementation challenges but also increase ambition for all renewable energy uses.

CCUS is coming!

Besides the changes on the energy market we need to look at another important technology – Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS). CCUS is an important emissions reduction technology that can be applied across the energy system. According to IEA we have right now an annual CO2 capture capacity from power and industrial facilities about 40 Million tons. But this is just the start of it..

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If you want to find out more on this topic follow follow our journey to deliver the cheapest carbon capture solution at Meloon !

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