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Expand chart
Data: Global Carbon Project; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Global carbon emissions in 2021 are on course to rebound to near pre-pandemic levels following an unprecedented drop in 2020, according to the Global Carbon Project, an international research consortium.

Why it matters: While the past few days have brought a slew of commitments to reduce the use of fossil fuels and cut emissions, in the real world, emissions are not showing signs of slowing.

Details: In the U.S. and EU, emissions decreased in 2021 relative to pre-pandemic, but they increased in India and China, in particular.

  • The researchers from three universities in the U.K. and U.S., along with a Norwegian institute, warn that an additional increase in emissions could occur in 2022 if emissions from cars and planes recover to pre-pandemic levels, and coal is not curtailed.

By the numbers: China's emissions are projected to rise by 4% compared to 2020, reaching 5.5% above 2019 levels, comprising a third of global emissions.

  • Emissions in India are projected to rise by 12.6% compared to 2020 levels, reaching 4.4% above 2019.
  • For the U.S., emissions are projected to bounce up by 7.6% compared to 2020, but be 3.7% below 2019 levels, making up 14% of global emissions.

What we're watching: The researchers estimate that to have at a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C by 2100 relative to preindustrial levels, nations can only emit about another 11 years worth of emissions, assuming they continue at current rates, the new data shows.

Go deeper: Many of world's poorest nations already experience acute harm from climate change

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 22, 2021 - Energy & Environment

U.S. fuel economy hits record high but falls short of policymakers' hopes

Data: EPA; Chart: Axios Visuals

New EPA data on U.S. vehicle fuel economy paints a mixed picture, showing record average efficiency in model year 2020 that's nonetheless far short of what policymakers hope to see ahead.

Driving the news: The annual report shows that average overall fuel economy for cars, SUVs and light trucks sold in the U.S. reached 25.4 miles per gallon (mpg) in model year 2020 in real-world conditions, a 0.5 mpg increase over 2019.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The murky future of Biden's climate agenda in the Senate

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

House Democrats passed their $1.75 trillion social spending and climate package last week, but what happens next is hazy.

Why it matters: The bill, if it makes the finish line, would be by far the most sweeping U.S. climate package ever enacted.

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.