Carbon reductions due to pandemic set to be quickly reversed

Energy-related emissions for 2021 are on track to return to 2019 levels as the world’s economy rebounds

The main driver of the CO2 emissions increase is coal-fired power for electricity. Picture: Getty

Global carbon dioxide emissions are on track for their second largest ever increase this year, as the world’s economy rebounds from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to grow by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021, returning close to 2019 levels. While last year saw a large drop in emissions due to the pandemic, this reduction is set to be reversed, driven primarily by coal power plants.