The world is becoming more aware of the dire consequences of climate change and the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment. Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Activity is one of the most critical tools in assessing the impact and formulation of policies to combat climate change. In this article, we will explore the latest data on greenhouse gas emissions and breakdown of emissions by economic activity.
The Latest Data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
According to the latest statistics published in the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 fell by 7.6 percent due to COVID-19-related restrictions. However, the annual global emissions remain high, and the world faces significant challenges to reverse the current trend.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant greenhouse gas globally, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all emissions from human activities. CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary drivers of climate change. Methane (CH4) and Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions are also significant greenhouse gases, particularly in agricultural and industrial activities.
Since pre-industrial times, CO2 emissions remain the most significant contributor to global warming, with 90 percent of the total warming attributable to CO2. Therefore, reduction in CO2 emissions holds the key to reversing the current climate change trend.
A systematic reduction of GHG emissions must occur for climate change mitigation to progress. By reducing GHG emissions, we reduce the intensity of actions that result in climate change. This includes avoiding using fossil fuels and implementing low-carbon technologies to promote eco-friendly life.
A Breakdown of Emissions by Economic Activity
Different economic activities produce greenhouse gases at varying levels, making some activities more environmentally destructive than others. In full recognition of this, it is essential to understand how much GHG each economic sector contributes to global warming to create mitigation strategies tailored to the specific sectors.
The energy sector (including power and heat generation, industrial transformation and transportation) remains the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 73 percent of all GHG emissions between 2012 and 2017.
Agriculture and land use change also constitute a significant source of GHG emissions. Agriculture contributes by emitting CH4 and N2O gases during the rearing of livestock, rice cultivation, and fertilizers’ application. Land-use changes lead to deforestation and affect soil quality, resulting in increased CH4 and N2O emissions.
Other industries also contribute to the level of GHG emissions. Forestry, for example, can either absorb or release CO2 depending on the management and type of activity. Urban planning and construction, and manufacturing also produce GHG.
In conclusion, greenhouse gas emissions remain a big threat to the world’s ecosystems, and climate change mitigation is imperative. The Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Activity is a crucial tool for identifying the main sources of GHG and formulating mitigation strategies tailored to specific economic sectors. Urgent action and implementation of sustainable practices can help reduce GHG emissions and lessen the impact of climate change.