Coronavirus lockdowns cause 17% drop in pollution worldwide
The coronavirus lockdowns have had a hugely positive effect on carbon emissions, which are now down almost 17 per cent – that brings them down to 2006 levels.
This study is part of the first proper analysis to measure carbon dioxide emissions during the pandemic.
The study was conducted from January to April this year, and attributes the drop of emissions down to significantly less burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal (which are the most responsible for global warming).
The coronavirus lockdown is expected to lead to the largest annual decrease in emissions since the end of World War II.
However, scientists are keen to point out that we’re not out of danger yet. 2020 is still on track to be one of the five hottest years in history, and once lockdown measures are reduced it’s expected those emission levels will go right back up.
The study was conducted by British science journal nature Climate Change.
According to Professor Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia, while the drastic changes are good, “these extreme decreases are likely to be temporary, as they do not reflect structural changes in economic, transport or energy system.”
“The extent to which world leaders consider climate change when planning their economic responses post-COVID-19 will influence the global CO2 emissions paths for decades to come," she said.
Over the past few months, the world’s top polluters have significantly cut carbon emissions. The United States is down almost 30 per cent the month of April. China cut its carbon pollution by almost 25 per cent, and India and Europe are down 26 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.
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