Boris Johnson: COP26 a ‘decisive shift’ in climate change battle
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Figures published on Monday by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, show the bloc’s emissions have risen by 18 percent in the spring, compared to last year’s estimates. The rise in emissions has been attributed to countries emerging from lockdown life, which has seen an economic rebound across the board. The economic crisis caused by the Covid pandemic has caused entire industries to shut down and grounded people at home, causing global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to drop by about 6.4 percent in the first half of 2020 – about 2.3 billion tonnes.
But thanks to the widespread rollout of vaccines and loosening Covid restrictions, countries have begun to pump planet-warming gasses into the atmosphere once again.
According to Eurostat, the EU’s CO2 emissions between April and June totalled 867 million tonnes.
The group said in its Monday report: “The lowest ever value was recorded in the second quarter of 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Greenhouse gas emissions in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 18 percent compared with the same quarter in the previous year.
“This is largely due to the effect of the economic rebound after the sharp decrease of activity in the same quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The CO2 emissions were broken down into seven sections: agriculture, transport services, manufacture and construction, households – transport, electricity supply, households – heating and other, and “other services”.
Manufacture and construction were responsible for the biggest share of CO2 – about 32 percent – followed by electricity supply – 19 percent – and agriculture – 14 percent.
Households are estimated to have emitted about 101 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent for transport on top of another 52 million tonnes for heating and other purposes.
Eurostat said: “The greenhouse gas emissions in the second quarter of 2021 increased compared with the same period of the previous year in all sectors.
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“The emissions by households for heating increased by 42 percent and for transportation by 25 percent.
“Emissions by manufacture and construction increased by 22 percent, transport services by 18 percent, electricity supply by 17 percent and services other than transport by 13 percent.”
Emissions from the agricultural sector were mostly unchanged and only rose by 0.2 percent.
However, despite these spikes during the economic rebound, Eurostat claimed the EU’s overall greenhouse emissions display “a steady reduction”.
The group added: “The official climate monitoring and reporting along the UN rules provides annual data on EU progress towards its targets.
“The most recent data established according to the United Nations convention on climate change (UNFCCC) rules show that in 2020, EU27 domestic greenhouse gas emissions were down by 31 percent from 1990 levels.”
Eurostat’s report comes after Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, vowed to slash the bloc’s emissions in a response to climate change.
After attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Ms von der Leyen said: “At the start of this conference, we set three objectives:
“First, to get commitments to cut emissions also during this decade, to keep within reach the goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
“Second, to reach the target of 100 billion dollars per year of climate finance to developing and vulnerable countries.
“And third, to get agreement on the Paris rulebook. We have made progress on all three objectives.”
However, it’s not just the EU that experienced a rebound in greenhouse emissions this year.
According to the Climate Transparency Report, CO2 emissions are expected to rise by four percent across the entire G20 groups this year, after initially falling in 2020.
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