Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase in the Spotlight as G-7 Summit Begins

07 June 2021 Dashboard Insights Blog
Authors: Lauren M. Loew

The G-7 summit will be held June 11-13 in the United Kingdom, and world leaders have a slate of major issues to discuss- economic rebounds, international relations, and of course the pandemic and vaccine availability.

However, climate change and global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be another central focus of the discussions. Smaller countries are increasing calls for the world’s largest economies to both decrease emissions and financially contribute to smaller economies’ climate change efforts. The pandemic has only heightened the pressure on the world’s largest, and smallest, economies.

During the course of the pandemic, the world experienced a marked decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions decreases followed lockdowns with reduced global airplane and vehicle travel.  In 2020, the global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 6.4%, with the United States alone experiencing a 13% decline in emissions.  Air travel experienced a 48% emissions decrease in 2020.

Now, as vaccines become more prevalent and the world continues reopening, greenhouse gas emissions have shot back up, in some cases past pre-pandemic levels.  The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached historic peaks in May, the highest levels in 63 years. Signs of these increases started in December 2020 when global emissions surpassed December 2019. In China, total carbon dioxide emissions exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 7%.  The majority of this increase was related to increase coal consumption, which China has vowed to decrease after 2025.

As transportation continues to increase, all eyes will be on whether more efficient vehicles, air travel, and energy consumption can curb the current increase in 2021.  The G-7 summit may prove a testing ground for countries’ focus on these efforts coming out of the pandemic, and set the stage for future accords, regulations, and financing commitment.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services