China’s CO2 emissions rise to record high accounting for 33% of global emissions, the International Energy Agency says

In 2021 global energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to rebound and grow by approximately 4.8%, as economies all over the world begin to rebound from the pandemic and demand for coal, oil, and gas increased. China was the largest driver of the rise in emissions, the IEA says.

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) 2021 report wrote that “emerging markets and developing economies now account for more than two-thirds of global CO2 emissions, while emissions in advanced economies are in a structural decline,”.

China’s emissions have risen by approximately 6% in 2021 above 2019 highs. 

“In 2021 alone, China’s CO2 emissions rose above 11.9 billion tonnes, accounting for 33% of the global total,” the IEA said.

“All fossil fuels should contribute to higher CO2 emissions in China in 2021, but coal is expected to dominate, contributing 70% to the increase, predominantly due to greater coal use in the power sector.” 

Between 2019 and 2021, China’s emission output from coal-powered power plants has increased by approx. 7%. China was the only major economy to experience growth in both 2020 and 2021.

On the other hand, emissions in India grew by 1.4% from 2019 to 2021. 

“CO2 emissions in India are now broadly on par with emissions in the European Union at 2.35 Gt, although they remain two-thirds lower on a per capita basis and 60% below the global average.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the “increased use of coal was the main factor driving up global energy-related CO2 emissions”. Adding that “Coal accounted for over 40% of the overall growth in global CO2 emissions in 2021.”

The U.S. is seeing a reduction of 5.6% in emissions from 2019 to 2021, and are 21% below 2005 levels, the 2021 IEA report finds.

However, in 2020 the world saw an overall reduction in emissions. “The Covid-19 pandemic had far-reaching impacts on energy demand in 2020, reducing global CO2 emissions by 5.2%.”

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