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COP27: Report sees slight rise in 2022 global emissions; highest in India

Global carbon emissions are set to increase marginally in 2022 over the previous year, with the highest rise in India, projected a report released at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at Sharm El-Sheikh.

The United States is estimated to record the second-highest increase in emissions, the report launched November 11, 2022 showed.

If current emission patterns persist, there is now a 50 per cent chance global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius — the lower limit of temperature rise compared to pre-industrial levels set by the Paris Agreement — in nine years, the authors of the report concluded.

Carbon Budget 2022, an annual released by Global Carbon Project November 11, 2022, showed that despite repeated reminders from climate scientists about the need to cut off global emission drastically, they are still on the rise. The annual update is a scientific assessment of the global carbon cycle.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide level is projected to average 417.2 parts per million in 2022, 51 per cent above pre-industrial levels, the analysts noted in the report. 

Emission to increase in 2022

“Global fossil CO2 emissions are projected to rise 1 per cent in 2022 (range 0.1-1.9 per cent) led by growth in oil use, reaching 36.6 gigatonnes. Projected 2022 emissions decrease in China and in the European Union, but increase in the United States, India and the rest of the world,” the report read.

In 2019, the total global emission was 36.3 Gt; which got reduced to 34.5 Gt in 2020, increased to 36.3 Gt in 2021.

Emissions are projected to fall in China (0.9 per cent) and the EU (0.8 per cent) and increase in the US (1.5 per cent) and India (6 per cent), with a 1.7 per cent rise in the rest of the world combined, the report showed.

“Projected 2022 emissions from coal and oil are above their 2021 levels, with oil contributing most to total emissions growth,” the report added.

Oil emissions — a third of global emissions — are projected to rise 2.2 per cent, and dominate the global rise in fossil CO2 emissions.

Coal driving up India’s emission

The emissions in India are projected to increase by 6 per cent (range 3.9-8 per cent), driven mostly by a 5 per cent increase in coal emissions, the authors mentioned in the report.

India already is responsible for over a twelfth of global emissions and ranks third globally in terms of gross emission volume, though much low in the rank of per capita emissions.

The emissions from oil are set to increase sharply, with a projected rise of 10 per cent, and likely to return to 2019 level, according to the report. This is mainly because of the aviation sector turning around once the most difficult period of Covid 19 pandemic has tided over, it added.

Emissions from natural gas are projected to decline 4 per cent but contribute little to the total change as gas is a small part of the energy mix in India. 

Emissions from cement emissions – 5 per cent of global emissions – are projected to decrease overall but are set to increase in India, the findings showed.

During 2000-2021, emissions from the coal sector in India increased three times to 1.80 gt CO2 equivalent, that from the oil sector doubled to 0.62 Gt and tripled from the gas (0.04 to 0.13 gt) and cement (0.05 to 0.15 gt) sectors.

“While everyone refers to the historical responsibility argument, which is critical, less attention is paid to future responsibility,” said Pallavi Das, a programme associate, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a Delhi-based think-tank.

The net-zero pledges of China, the EU and the US will collectively exhaust 89 per cent of the remaining carbon budget of 500 GtCO2 by 2050, the expert added. 

Follow COP27 with Down To Earth

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