Rapid Growth in CO2 Emissions Following 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis


Researchers report that the impact of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis (GFC) on emissions was short-lived owing to strong emissions growth in emerging economies, a return to emissions growth in developed economies, and an increase in the fossil-fuel intensity of the world economy. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel consumption rose 3 percent in 2011 to 9.5 billion metric tons and are expected to increase a further 2.6 percent by the end of 2012. From 2000 to 2011, emissions have grown at an average of 3.1 percent per year. The significance of these findings is that global carbon dioxide emissions continue to track the high end of various emission scenarios, expanding the gap between current emission trends and the emission pathway required to keep the global-average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. If this emission growth trend continues, the global mean temperature is likely to increase by more than 5 degrees Celsius by 2100.


Peters, G. P., G. Marland, C. Le Quere, T. Boden, J. G. Canadell, and M. R. Raupach. 2011. “Rapid Growth in CO2 Emissions After the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis,” Nature Climate Change 2, 2-4. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1332.