Projected emissions for 2030 are uncertain and could even increase
It is highly uncertain how the pandemic will evolve, how governments and the international community will respond, and how that will affect emissions in the coming years. For that reason, the study carefully limits itself to outlining a number of ‘what if’ scenarios based on explorative ‘ex-post’ calculations for potential emission pathways. The IMF scenarios published in April 2020 were used as the point of reference.
The ex-post calculations of the analysis indicate a global emission reduction of –2.5 to –4.5 gigatonnes CO2 (–4% to –7%) by 2030, compared to recent pre-COVID policy projections and IMF’s Baseline and Longer and New Outbreak scenario, respectively. However, in case of a rebound to fossil fuels, with lower decarbonisation rates, the 2030 emission reduction is projected to be smaller (–3.0 instead of –4.5 gigatonnes CO2 under the Longer and New Outbreak scenario) (–5%) or may even turn into an increase (+0.5 instead of –2.5 gigatonnes CO2 under the Baseline scenario) (+1%).