Annual Report 2021 for Carbon Dioxide Emission Accounts of Global Emerging Economies

Over the past two decades, emerging economies’ economic development has driven rising energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and will be the main driver of future growth in global CO2 emissions. However, the progress of carbon accounting for these countries over the past decades has not kept pace: problems range from inconsistencies in accounting calibers, missing raw data, non-transparent accounting methods, and a lack of detail on the sectoral and regional divisions contributing to emissions. The dearth of basic data is a major obstacle to any in-depth study of emissions from emerging economies, and will also limit other research — for instance, longitudinal comparisons of these economies in a long-time dimension, individual comparisons among them, and studies of development heterogeneity between subnational regions.

Given the urgency of carbon-emission accounting for emerging economies, these challenges and gaps must be faced and addressed. This report aims to establish a unified, transparent, scientific accounting system that can be used to build a database of carbon emission inventories of emerging economies in line with the specific conditions within developing countries. It can also be deployed to analyze the current situation and characteristics of carbon emissions in emerging economies, and provide robust and reliable basic data for exploring future climate change emission reduction in these nations.

The Carbon Emission Accounts and Datasets (CEADs) expert group has compiled detailed inventories of CO2 emissions from energy combustion in 30 emerging economies. In selecting the raw data, its research team focused on data released by the official statistical agencies of each country on energy activity levels and emission factors, and supplemented this with data from neighboring countries with similar patterns of energy consumption or, where relevant metrics were missing, data released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). To show CO2 emissions in more detail — that is, how they are distributed across sectors, or how they vary among regions — the research team compiled carbon emission inventories according to 47 sectoral sub-regions with reference to sectoral and regional economic indicators.

The CEADs inventories reveal that emissions from emerging economies sharply increased along with the rising carbon intensity of the energy mix and the process of industrialization. Higher-income regions within countries tend to contribute most of the emissions to national levels of CO2. Data on the characteristics of emissions and on the emission-reduction approaches of emerging economies — if detailed enough in terms of the sectors, energy sources and regions involved — can provide the necessary support for an in-depth study of carbon emission growth in these nations. It can also provide a reference for these countries’ low-carbon development plans. It can support global climate change mitigation targets, especially cooperation among countries in the Global South on climate action. And it can promote the voice of emerging economies in action on global mitigation.

The report can be accessed and downloaded freely on this page. Users can explore more data by clicking Data->Global Countries->Emerging Economies section.