France: Climate Progress Indicators

Data show rise in emissions between 2020 and 2021 Using EU Quarterly Emissions Data (No Data available as for 2022 as of yet); change thought to be due to rise in economic activity after pandemic.

By using quarterly greenhouse gas emissions in France in Q3 of 2021 as a baseline, we can analyze changes in emissions in Q4 of 2021. The three indicators used are a direct measurement of emissions including:

  • Quarterly greenhouse gas emissions measured in thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents
  • Quarterly greenhouse gas emissions measured in tonnes per habitants
  • Quarterly greenhouse gas emissions expressed in percentage change compared to the same period in the previous year

From Q3 to Q4 in 2021 all three of these greenhouse gas emissions indicators increased in France. Quarterly greenhouse gas emissions increased from 97, 964 thousand tonnes of CO2-equivalent in Q3 to 119, 956 thousand tonnes of CO2-equivalent in Q4. Similarly, quarterly greenhouse gas emissions per capita increased from 1.44 tonnes per capita in Q3 to 1.76 tonnes per capita in Q4. These increases from Q3 to Q4 are likely attributable to the increased resumption of economic activities as pandemic related restrictions continue to ease and the pandemic has a waning effect on suppressing greenhouse gas emissions.

The role of the pandemic in suppressing greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 is particularly visible when analyzing the percentage change of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the same period in the previous year. For example, France recorded a negative percentage change in 2020 compared to 2019 for every quarter of 2020 (-6.8 in Q1, -23.4 in Q2, -4.9 in Q3 and -3.4 in Q4). France’s percentage change in 2021 compared to 2020 however was positive for every quarter of 2021 (+2.6 in Q1, +25.4 in Q2, +2.6 in Q3, and +6.8 in Q4). The IEA reports that “Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 crisis and relied heavily on coal to power that growth.” These three indicators demonstrate that France is no exception to this global phenomenon as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rebound from the pandemic.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard France Country Manager Liana Fair Mehring


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