Global carbon emissions this year are set to rebound close to pre-COVID levels with a 4.9% increase to 36.4 billion tons, according to a new report from the Global Carbon Project on Thursday.
The findings of the Global Carbon Budget come as world leaders meet at COP26 in Glasgow to address the climate crisis and try to agree on a plan of action going forward.
The research team - including the University of Exeter, the University of East Anglia (UEA), CICERO and Stanford University - say a further rise in emissions in 2022 cannot be ruled out if road transport and aviation return to pre-pandemic levels and coal use is stable.
According to the report, fossil carbon emissions dropped by 5.4% in 2020 amid COVID lockdowns, but the new report projects an increase of 4.9% this year to 36.4 billion tons.
"Emissions from coal and gas use are set to grow more in 2021 than they fell in 2020, but emissions from oil use remain below 2019 levels," the report stated.