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Global Carbon Emission Drops by 17% due to the Pandemic

Vibrant Image Studio / Shutterstock.com

Vibrant Image Studio / Shutterstock.com

A new study by researchers at the University of East Anglia, UK revealed that the current pandemic caused a 17 percent drop in global carbon emission.

The carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has slightly decreased, and that’s because the world shut down.

When the coronavirus was first identified in China late last year, a lockdown seemed like an extreme measure. But the disease became more challenging to manage, and countries had to introduce strict measures.

Over 100 countries across the globe implemented either a full or partial lockdown by the end of March 2020. As you may have guessed, the lockdown is affecting billions of lives, including industries such as travel, advertising, and tech, among others.

But, it also has an extreme effect on our daily carbon emissions.

According to a new analysis by an international team of scientists, the COVID-19 crisis caused a 17 percent drop in carbon emissions.

In a statement to the press, professor at the University of East Anglia, and lead author of the study, Corinne Le Quéré noted:

“Population confinement has led to drastic changes in energy use and CO2 emissions.”

Here’s the breakdown of the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affects Global Carbon Emission

At the peak of the confinement period, daily carbon emissions decreased by an astonishing 17 percent in early April. CO2 emission levels haven’t been that low since 2006.

Carbon dioxide from surface transport, such as car journey, accounts for about 43 percent of the global emissions decrease. Meanwhile, industry and power emissions account for another 43 percent decrease.

Although the lockdown has a significant impact on aviation, it only accounts for 10 percent of the decrease during the pandemic.

The researchers noted the most significant changes in China, the United States, and Europe. The drop is so substantial that it could put the world nation on track to achieve the Paris Agreement‘s climate goals.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.

According to Le Quéré, this drop in global carbon emission is unlikely to endure. “These extreme decreases are likely to be temporary though, as they do not reflect structural changes in the economic, transport, or energy systems.”

The researcher suggests world leaders consider climate change when planning economic responses to COVID-19. For example, local leaders in cities and suburbs could encourage walking, cycling, and the use of electric bikes.

Along with being cheaper and better for well being, these measures also improve air quality. What’s more, it preserves social distancing, Le Quéré said.

Read More: Hydrofluorocarbon Emissions Growing at Record Values

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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