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Emissions from energy production rise slightly in December
The amount of energy-related carbon dioxide emitted into the world's atmosphere ticked up in December after months of decline during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.
The International Energy Agency on Tuesday reported emissions from the production and use of oil, gas and coal was 2 percent higher in December 2020 than during the same period in 2019.
"The rebound in global carbon emissions toward the end of last year is a stark warning that not enough is being done to accelerate clean energy transitions worldwide," said Fatih Birol, the agency's executive director, according to The Associated Press. "If governments don't move quickly with the right energy policies, this could put at risk the world's historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions."
International scientists have estimated carbon dioxide emissions around the world dipped by as much as 7 percent during the pandemic, due to a lack of travel and business production across the globe.
Birol warned that life getting back to normal as a result of some nations easing coronavirus restrictions as they vaccinate large segments of their population could have an adverse effect on the global biosphere.
"Our numbers show we are returning to carbon-intensive business-as-usual," she said. "These latest numbers are a sharp reminder of the immense challenge we face in rapidly transforming the global energy system."
China was the only nation that saw its emissions grow in 2020, the agency reported, while the United States global footprint fell by a greater percentage than the worldwide average, coming in at 10 percent lower than in 2019.