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CO2 emissions from fuel combustion

2020 CO2 emissions fell significantly (-4.9%) below their 2012 level

CO2 emissions from fuel combustion

2020 CO2 emissions fell significantly (-4.9%) below their 2012 level

Breakdown by country (MtCO2)

Trend over 1990 - 2020 - MtCO2


Breakdown by energy (2020) - MtCO2


-528 Mt

Strong fall in CO2 emissions in the United States in 2020

2020 CO2 emissions fell significantly (-4.9%) below their 2012 level

In 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak had a tremendous impact on CO2 emissions (-4.9%), especially in the first half of the year, when widespread lockdown measures, transport restrictions and the economic slowdown significantly reduced oil consumption in the transport sector. CO2 emissions also contracted in the power sector, owing to a lower electricity demand and to the continued decline in the carbon factor (CO2 emissions per kWh produced), mainly due to fuel switching from coal to gas and the rising share of renewables in the global power mix. Most of the reduction in emissions occurred in the USA (-11%) and Europe (-11%, with significant cuts in Germany, Spain, and the UK), due to a much lower coal-fired power generation and higher CO2 prices in 2020. CO2 emissions also fell in India (-5.5%, due to the lower coal-fired power generation and oil product consumption), Russia and Canada (reduced power generation and strong drop in oil production and consumption), in Japan and South Korea (rising share of renewables in the power mix). They also contracted in Indonesia, in Latin America (especially in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina), in Africa (strong decline in South Africa) and in the Middle East (notably in Saudi Arabia, where oil consumption decreased significantly). On the contrary, CO2 emissions rose for the fourth year in a row in China (+1.6%), due to a rapidly recovering energy demand and a steady coal-fired power generation, despite a new surge in renewable power generation. China accounted for 31% of global CO2 emissions in 2020.

Global Energy Trends - 2021 Edition

Consolidated 2020 energy and emissions statistics with 2021 estimates, including COVID-19 impact and structural changes.

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Global Energy & CO2 Data

Need more data? All the information presented in this energy data tool are extracted from Global Energy & CO2 Data service, the most comprehensive and up-to-date database on all CO2 emissions from fuel combustion by sector and sources, industrial process, waste, but also on CH4, N2O, PFC, SF6 emissions. Detailed indicators are available by country and by sector.

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According to Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency, the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 3.6% in 2020 to 58 MtCO2eq. The decrease in emissions is reflected in most sectors with the exception of increases in residential, agriculture  and public services. In the energy sector, GHG emissions fell by 7.9% (-0.74 MtCO2eq), as peat-fired power generation halved and renewable power generation increased noticeably (+15% from wind), covering 42% of the Irish power mix. Residential emissions grew by 9% (+0.59 MtCO2eq), as a result of colder temperatures, historic low oil prices (impacting heating choices), and home working. Emissions from transports fell by nearly 16% (-1.9 MtCO2eq) due to transport restrictions. Overall, Ireland's GHG emissions are still only 7% below 2005 level. The country committed under an EU agreement known as the Effort Sharing Decision to cut GHG emissions by 20% between 2005 and 2020.



According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 6.1 GW of offshore wind capacity was installed in 2020 (down from 6.2 GW in 2019), including 3 GW in China, 1.5 GW in the Netherlands, and 0.7 GW in Belgium. More than 35 GW of offshore wind capacity is currently operational, with 29% of the total in the UK, 28% in China and 22% in Germany.



South Africa’s total greenhouse gas emissions excluding FOLU (forestry and other land use) increased by 14% between 2000 and 2017 to 513 MtCO2eq, according to the country’s 7th National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Report. The energy sector is the largest contributor to emissions excluding FOLU (80%) and is responsible for 97% of the increase over 2000-2017. Energy industries were responsible for 61% of emissions from the energy sector in 2017. This was followed by transport (13%), other sectors (9%) and manufacturing industries and construction (7%).



According to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation (TEIAŞ), installed wind capacity in Turkey reached the 10 GW threshold in early August 2021. Most of the capacity is located in the Izmir province (1.7 GW), followed by Balıkesir (1,300 MW), Çanakkale (850 MW), Manisa (750 MW), and Istanbul (420 MW). Wind represented 10% of the installed capacity connected to the transmission network (10,010 MW out of 98,800 MW) and over half (51.9 GW) was considered "clean" electricity. In the first half of 2021, wind power accounted for around 9% of the power generation, replacing nearly US$1bn in gas imports.