The time of pandemic-induced decline in the rate of carbon dioxide emissions is over. CO2 levels are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels soon.
A report by the Global Carbon Project said that CO2 emissions are expected to rise by 4.9% compared to last year. The international research group keeps an eye on carbon dioxide emissions during the climate meeting.
Their report at Glasgow said that the pandemic had led to an extraordinary decrease in CO2 in 2020. Emissions fell by 5.4% in 2020 compared to 2019 with an absolute reduction of 1.9 billion tonnes. This year, economic activity is likely to return to the pre-pandemic level and is expected to emit 36.4 billion tonnes of CO2, reported The Indian Express.
The research group has predicted the rate of CO2 emissions to increase next year as well once the road transport and aviation activities return to pre-pandemic levels.
India, however, is expected to see a much bigger increase of 12.6% in CO2 emissions, which will be more than in 2019 by about 4.4%. The report noted that pushed by power and industry sectors, China has sparked further growth in CO2 emissions.
The report also pointed out that if the current trend continues, the CO2 level in the atmosphere will lead to a 1.5C rise in global temperatures in 11 years. And a 2C rise is only 31 years ago. Both futures are catastrophic with irreversible damages.
The report did not track the emission of other greenhouse gases.
The Global Carbon Project said that a reduction in CO2 emissions similar to what was seen in 2020 is required every year to reach the net-zero goal by 2050.