Worldwide, CO2 emissions have already returned to pre-pandemic levels

Worldwide, CO2 emissions have already returned to pre-pandemic levels


After falling dramatically due to the lockdowns, fossil fuel emissions have started to rise again and in 2021 could exceed the peaks of 2019

A panoramic view of Krakow and the chimneys of Krakow-Leg power plant in Krakow , Poland. January 15, 2021. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto via Getty Images) The crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic triggered the most significant reduction in CO 2 emissions since World War II. Worldwide, the reduction was around 6% compared to previous years, but already in December 2020 the CO 2 levels exceeded those of 2019 by 2%. The International Energy Agency warns that pre-pandemic emission levels could soon be exceeded if global economies do not effectively implement the necessary energy policies.

“Global growth in carbon dioxide emissions, towards the end of last year, it is a clear warning that not enough is being done to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. If governments do not quickly implement the right energy policies, this could jeopardize the historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak in global CO 2 emissions, ”said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency.

"Our numbers show that we are returning to the usual high-intensity emissions of previous years - he added, - despite the Agency having repeatedly urged governments to put the ecological transition at the center of their stimulus plans economic, to ensure a sustainable recovery. In the absence of radical changes by the largest global economies, emissions levels are very likely to increase in 2021 ”.

According to the report of the International Energy Agency, which reports the trend of CO 2 emissions in the world, the lack of concrete actions by world governments is undermining the possibility of ensuring sustainable growth . Furthermore, the reduction in emissions has had different trends between the various regions of the world and not all areas have actually contributed. For example, emissions in China increased by around 0.8% throughout 2020, in contrast to the rest of the world. In India and Brazil they have already started growing again since last September. While in the United States, CO 2 emissions returned to 2019 levels last December, after falling by around 10%. The growth in emissions, the report notes, derives from the attempt to accelerate the economic recovery and, particularly in the case of the United States, from climate change that has led to particularly cold temperatures and an increase in the use of coal plants.

On the European side, however, the report demonstrates the positive correlation between the maintenance of a low level of CO 2 emissions and the introduction of economic stimuli aimed at obtaining environmental benefits, as in the case of France, Spain, the United Kingdom United and Germany.

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Global stocks drop as WHO says worldwide COVID-19 infections rose for the first time in 7 weeks

a group of people looking at a man in a suit and tie: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid © REUTERS/Brendan McDermid REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Global stocks fell on Tuesday as the World Health Organization said the number of new COVID-19 infections rose last week for the first time in seven weeks. 

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the jump in cases 'disappointing, but not surprising,' and warned it may be too early to rely on vaccinations and ditch other measures to fight the virus. 

Futures on the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq fell between 0.2% and 0.4%, suggesting US markets would open lower during regular trading.

The dip in stocks followed a surge in global equities on both sides of the Atlantic, despite the fact that investors continued to price in two full rate hikes from the Fed by the end of 2023, Deutsche Bank research strategist Jim Reid said.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday lobbied for a quick vote on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, saying it 'ensures that people make it to the other side of this pandemic and are met there by a strong, growing economy.'

Video: 'Little evidence' that markets are going see excessive amounts of inflation, HSBC strategist says (CNBC)

'Little evidence' that markets are going see excessive amounts of inflation, HSBC strategist says






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In Europe, some countries imposed fresh restrictions, with Finland declaring a state of emergency over rising COVID-19 infections and new measures being put in place in certain parts of Italy. President Emmanuel Macron said France needs another four to six weeks before restrictions could begin to be lifted. On a more positive note, the 7-day average number of cases for the UK fell below 8,000 for the first time since early October.

London's FTSE 100 rose 0.3%, while the Euro Stoxx 50 and Germany's DAX were about flat.

Markets in Asia were weighed down by comments from the chairman of China's Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, Guo Shuqing. Guo said he is 'very worried' about risks emerging from bubbles in global financial markets and his own country's property sector, sparking concerns about further tightening across the world's second largest economy. 

'Guo is really saying nothing that investors, in their hearts, won't - or shouldn't - already be aware of,' said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at SpreadEx. 'However, it was enough to halt the kind of bombastic growth that kicked off the month.'

China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.8%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.6%.

Oil prices retreated. The main concern weighing on the market is Thursday's OPEC+ meeting at which traders expect the coalition to agree to increase production, reversing some output cuts imposed last year. Brent crude fell 1.1%, to $62.95 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate fell 1%, to $60.00 barrel. Both benchmarks have recovered all of their 2020 price losses.

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