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Global Carbon Emissions Increase in 2021


The 2016 Paris Accord is an international pledge to limit global temperature increases to +2 Celsius over pre-industrial levels, aiming for a 1.5C increase. The UN Environment Programme's 2020 emissions gap report finds that current carbon emissions will lead to a 3C or greater increase by 2100.

The most important near-term step to avoiding the worst effects of climate change is to reduce our emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. Our World In Data finds that current climate policies and pledges will not reduce emissions quickly enough to keep warming below 2C.

Initial estimates expect total emissions in 2020 to be about 7% lower than 2019, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UNEP estimates that 2019 had 59.1 gigatons of CO2 and CO2 equivalents emitted, with emissions from land-use change included ("land-use changes" meaning emissions created by deforestation, conversion of forest land to agricultural land, and soil degradation).

Kelsey Piper gave a 90% prediction in Vox that global carbon emissions will increase in 2021.

Will global CO2-equivalent emissions be greater in 2021 than in 2020?

This question will resolve positive if total CO2 and CO2-equivalent emissions are greater in 2021 than in 2020, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. All CO2-equivalent sources shall be included (including land-use change).

If there are no official statistics from the UNEP before 2023, another source, such as the US EPA or NOAA will be used.

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