Researchers confirm ‘Paris Effect’ on CO2 emissions decline, but less than 8 per cent left of 1.5 target carbon budget

The release of this year’s Global Carbon Budget came just before tomorrow’s fifth anniversary tomorrow of the Paris Agreement. Cuts of around 1 to 2 GtCO2 are needed each year on average between 2020 and 2030 to limit climate change in line with its goals.

The researchers say there’s only 8 per cent of the carbon budget left – less than ten years at current emissions rates, if we want to halt global temperature rise at 1.5℃.

Five years on from the landmark agreement, the international team behind the annual carbon budget say growth in global CO2 emissions has begun to falter, with emissions increasing more slowly in recent years, which could be partly in response to the spread of climate policy. And for the decade prior to 2020, fossil CO2 emissions decreased significantly in 24 countries while their economy continued to grow.

The researchers warn that it’s too early to say how much emissions will rebound by during 2021 and beyond, as the long-term trend in global fossil emissions will be largely influenced by actions to stimulate the global economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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