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Members of the Extinction Rebellion environmental group protest in central London in September

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LAST year was meant to be a blockbuster for action on the climate crisis. But the unexpected covid-19 pandemic upended climate choreography, postponing the major UN summit COP26 and forcing striking students off the streets. There are good reasons to think 2021 will be different.

Global carbon dioxide emissions fell an unprecedented 7 per cent in 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions, making a rebound in 2021 very likely, says Corinne Le Quéré at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

“What is more difficult to say is what the …