The Global Carbon Budget is produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries working under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project (GCP). The budget, now in its 14th year, provides an in-depth look at the amount of fossil fuels that nations around the world burn and where it ends up.

Global fossil CO2 emissions are expected to decline approximately 2.4 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2020 (-7%), a record drop. The decrease in emissions, caused by COVID-19 confinement measures in place, brings global fossil CO2emissions to 34 billion tonnes of CO2. Significant previous decreases were 0.5 (1981, 2009), 0.7 (1992), and 0.9 (1945) billion tonnes of CO2.

Emissions in 2019 were only 0.1% above emissions in 2018, at 36.4 billion tonnes of CO2 which already shows a slowdown in emissions before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, growth in global fossil CO2 emissions have begun to falter. For the decade prior to 2020 (2010-2019), fossil CO2 emissions were decreasing significantly in 24 countries with growing economies.

The rebound in emissions following previous crises suggest the long-term trend in global fossil emissions will be influenced by actions to stimulate the global economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is too early to infer the level of the rebound in emissions during 2021 and beyond.

The projection comes from the 2020 Global Carbon Budget, published by the Global Carbon Project in the journals Earth System Science Data. The Global Carbon Project is supported by Future Earth and the World Climate Research Programme.