Analysis: Surge in China’s steel production helps to fuel record-high CO2 emissions

Three-month mean of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production in China, Q1 2015-Q4 2020. Source: Author’s analysis based on government data from China’s National Statistics Bureau and China Customs, plus energy industry data from Wind Information. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts.

China’s CO2 emissions have rebounded from a steep, but short-lived, fall due to the Covid-19 lockdown to reach a new record high, analysis of the latest quarterly data reveals.

Government stimulus measures introduced earlier this year to fire up China’s post-covid economy have seen steel production, in particular, ramp up.

The three-month period from July-September saw steel output in China – which is a source of significant carbon emissions – rise by 10%.

The surge in steel output has also exposed that China is likely going to miss its own targets to cut steel capacity by the end of 2020, with many provinces reporting steel production that far exceeds their capacity control targets.

Continue reading the full analysis on Carbon Brief.