Rising global emissions reveal a troubling ‘say–do’ gap
Author: Ck staff
A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) reveals that global emissions rose in 2022. That means major emitters such as the U.S. and China are falling further behind in meeting their climate targets. “None of these countries are on track for meeting their stated emission-reduction targets,” observes Corporate Knights research director Ralph Torrie. “When the global pandemic hit in 2020, we knew it would cause greenhouse gas emissions to decline, but we hoped the emission decrease could be locked in as economies recovered.” Globally, emissions need to decrease by 4% every year if we’re going to reach net-zero by 2050. But in reality, emissions rebounded in 2021 and grew again in 2022 by 0.9%, reaching an all-time high of more than 36.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. “That puts us about where we were in 2019, with the ‘say–do’ gap persisting even as the clock ticks down for countries to hit their 2030 targets,” says Torrie. Last year, Corporate Knights released the Earth Index, a tool that measures the annual progress of G20 countries in achieving their 2030 emissions targets. The G20 is responsible for about 75% of global GHG emissions. The 2022 Earth Index revealed that most countries were far behind. While there is clear evidence that growth in renewable energy and electrification are moderating global emissions, countries will have to redouble their efforts to decarbonize if they are going to meet their official emission targets.