The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Global CO2 emissions in 2019report is the latest edition of bad data interpretation and visualisation. Their key takeaway is that “global energy-related CO2 emissions flattened in 2019 at around 33 gigatonnes (Gt), following two years of increases” while the global economy grew around 2.9 per cent.
Given the uncertainty surrounding annual emissions data, which often continues to be revised years into the future, that kind of takeaway is irresponsible enough. It evokes the optimism around the ‘decoupling’ of emissions and economic growth that was all the rage mid-decade. That ‘flattening’ was short-lived. The jury is still out on whether global emissions have really peaked this time.
More inexplicable, however, is the graph below, an IEA estimate of the change in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions between 2018 and 2019 for selected regions.Source: Down To Earth