London (CNN Business)Global carbon dioxide emissions are set to surge dangerously this year as the global economy undergoes a huge recovery.
In a new report, the International Energy Agency estimates that carbon emissions from energy use are on track to spike by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021, as heavy coal consumption in Asia, and in China in particular, outweighs rapid growth in renewable sources. That would be the second largest annual increase in energy-related emissions in history.
“This is a dire warning that the economic recovery from the Covid crisis is currently anything but sustainable for our climate,” Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “Unless governments around the world move rapidly to start cutting emissions, we are likely to face an even worse situation in 2022.”
The Paris-based group is sounding the alarm before 40 world leaders come together later this week for a two-day virtual summit on the climate crisis convened by President Joe Biden. Birol called it a “critical moment to commit to clear and immediate action.”