The world emits around 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases each year [measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq)]. The urgency of reducing global emissions in the face of climate change is gaining momentum. To figure out how we can most effectively reduce emissions and what emissions can and can’t be eliminated with current technologies, we need to first understand where our emissions come from.

We offer to see an infographic by Our World in Data – it shows the breakdown of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. xThis is the latest breakdown of global emissions by sector, published by Climate Watch and the World Resources Institute.

So what do we have?

Even within the energy sector – which accounts for almost three-quarters of emissions – there is no simple fix. Even if we could fully decarbonize our electricity supply, we would also need to electrify all of our heating and road transport. And we’d still have emissions from shipping and aviation –  which we do not yet have low-carbon technologies for – to deal with.

What is the conclusion?

It is clear from this breakdown that a range of sectors and processes contribute to global emissions. This means there is no single or simple solution to tackle climate change. Focusing on electricity, or transport, or food, or deforestation alone is insufficient.

To reach net-zero emissions we need innovations across many sectors. Single solutions will not get us there.

UABIO for foresight and comprehensive approach! And what about you?