Global CO2 emissions to fall by up to 7% in 2020 due to Covid-19

News: United in Science 2020 report has been released by the UN Secretary General.


  • About the report: The report aims to bring together the latest climate science related updates from a group of key global partner organizations — World Meteorological Organization(WMO), Global Carbon Project (GCP), UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC), UNEP and the Met Office.

Key Takeaways:

  • Greenhouse Gas Concentrations in the Atmosphere (World Meteorological Organization): Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have shown no signs of peaking and have continued to increase to new records.
  • Global Fossil CO2 emissions(Global Carbon Project): CO2 emissions in 2020 will fall by an estimated 4% to 7% in 2020 due to COVID-19 confinement policies.The exact decline will depend on the continued trajectory of the pandemic and government responses to address it.
  • Emissions Gap Report (UN Environment Programme): It showed that the cuts in global emissions required per year from 2020 to 2030 are close to 3% for a 2 °C target and more than 7% per year on average for the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement.
  • State of Global Climate (WMO and UK’s Met Office): The average global temperature for 2016–2020 is expected to be the warmest on record, about 1.1 °C above 1850-1900, a reference period for temperature change since pre-industrial times and 0.24°C warmer than the global average temperature for 2011-2015.
  • The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate(IPCC): Human induced climate change is affecting life-sustaining systems, from the top of the mountains to the depths of the oceans, leading to accelerating sea-level rise, with cascading effects for ecosystems and human security.

Additional Facts:

  • Global Carbon Project: It is an organisation established in 2001 to quantify global greenhouse gas emissions and their causes.It’s projects include global budgets for three dominant greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — and complementary efforts in urban, regional, cumulative, and negative emissions.
  • UNESCO-IOC: It was established in 1960 as a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO.It is the only competent organization for marine science within the UN system.