Rapid growth in CO2 emissions after the 2008–2009 global financial crisis

Journal name:
Nature Climate Change
Volume:
2,
Pages:
2–4
Year published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nclimate1332
Published online

To the Editor

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production grew 5.9% in 2010, surpassed 9 Pg of carbon (Pg C) for the first time, and more than offset the 1.4% decrease in 2009. The impact of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis (GFC) on emissions has been short-lived owing to strong emissions growth in emerging economies, a return to emissions growth in developed economies, and an increase in the fossil-fuel intensity of the world economy.

At a glance

Figures

  1. Global CO2 emissions and carbon intensity.
    Figure 1: Global CO2 emissions and carbon intensity.

    a, Emissions of CO2 from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production for the world (Pg C yr−1; black curve) and the carbon intensity of world GDP (g C per $US (2000); red curve, inverted axis). The most important recent financial crises are highlighted with a linear trend fitted to the five years before the beginning of each crisis. b–e CO2 emissions (Pg C) for the regions most affected by each financial crisis (right axis) and the rest of the world (RoW; left axis). b, The oil crisis (1973) and the US savings and loans crisis (1979), where EU15 is the 15 member states of the European Union as of 1995. c, The collapse of the Former Soviet Union (FSU; 1989). d, The Asian financial crisis (1997). e, The recent global financial crisis (2008–2009).

  2. Historic CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2010 of developed (Annex B) and developing (non-Annex B) countries with emissions allocated to production/territorial (as in the Kyoto Protocol) and the consumption of goods and services (production plus imports minus exports).
    Figure 2: Historic CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2010 of developed (Annex B) and developing (non-Annex B) countries with emissions allocated to production/territorial (as in the Kyoto Protocol) and the consumption of goods and services (production plus imports minus exports).

    The shaded areas are the trade balance (difference) between Annex B/non-Annex B production and consumption6, 14. Bunker fuels are not included in this figure.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), PO Box 1129 Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway

    • Glen P. Peters
  2. Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, USA

    • Gregg Marland
  3. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

    • Corinne Le Quéré
  4. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6335, USA

    • Thomas Boden
  5. Global Carbon Project, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia

    • Josep G. Canadell &
    • Michael R. Raupach

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