Will 2020 be turning point for CO2 emissions?
According to the United Nations and the Global Carbon Project, 2020 has been a great year for the climate. CO2 emissions decreased by almost 7% due to the corona measures. Still, according to the UN, greenhouse gases should decrease by 7,6% annually between 2020 and 2030 to limit global warming to +1,5°C.
Will 2020 remain an exceptional year when it comes to CO2 emissions now that vaccines are ready and the economy is expected to revive? According to Fatih Birol, director of the International Environmental Agency (IEA), we will return to the point where we were before the crisis without any’ green’ measures. “China’s attitude will be an important test,” he says.
Birol: “It was the first country where the coronavirus broke out, the first to impose the confinement, and the first to see the economy coming to a standstill. But it was also the first country where the economy rebounded, and where emissions are as high as before the crisis.”
Renewable energy sources are an alternative to fossil energy. Still, their growth seems to be slowed down by subsidies for the most polluting energy sources like coal, gasoline, and gas, creating competition for clean energy sources, Birol continues.
Meanwhile, some large emitters of greenhouse gases, like China and the US, are committed to becoming climate neutral. According to Climate Action Tracker, if those governments respect their commitment, global warming will be limited to +2,1°C. This is higher than agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement but lower than the actual +3°C by 2100.