Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
21 October 2022

Emissions must now fall twice as fast as they have increased

Emissions must fall 3.4 per cent year-on-year by to keep global warming to a “safe” level.

By Nick Ferris

Ahead of the next UN climate conference, Cop 27, which takes place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, next month, efforts to tackle climate change are firmly back on the international agenda. Yet despite nearly 30 years of such conferences, global emissions have risen at a faster rate than ever before in that time. 

Analysis by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) has found that emissions must fall 3.4 per cent year-on-year from a 2019 baseline for there to be a chance of global warming remaining “well below 2°C”, which is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers to be the limit of “safe” warming. This fall is more than twice the rate at which emissions have been rising over the past three decades.

The IEEP’s analysis highlights the inequality evident in global emissions, with the world’s richest 1 per cent driving twice the carbon emissions of the poorest half of the world’s population between 1990 and the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. 

Current evidence suggests that a rapid turnaround of the kind the IEEP says is needed is unlikely. The latest forecast from the International Energy Agency showed that the world was on course for a 1 per cent rise in emissions in 2022.

[See also: Greta Thunberg: “Our politicians will not come to the rescue of planet Earth”]

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
Cybercrime is becoming more like a standard business
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi

Topics in this article: