Energy use recovery drove carbon emissions to the highest level in history in 2021, says IEA report

According to a new analysis from the International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the energy sector rose to their highest levels in history in 2021.

The figures show that CO2 emissions rose 6% last year, increasing by their largest-ever amount in absolute terms.

Energy-related emissions increased by more than 2B tons (GtCO2) in 2021 to hit a record high of 36.3GtCO2, outstripping the decline in emissions previously recorded in 2020.

This happened as soaring international gas prices and Covid-19 recovery drove an increase in coal-fired power generation worldwide.


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