COVID-19 causes drop in global carbon emissions

The study published within the journal Nature global climate change shows that daily emissions decreased by 17% — or 17 million tonnes of CO2 — globally during the height of the quarantine measures in early April compared to mean daily levels in 2019, dropping to levels last observed in 2006. In this article we will tell about how COVID-19 causes a drop in global carbon emissions.

Emissions from surface transport, like car journeys, account for nearly half (43%) of the decrease in global emissions during peak confinement on April 7. Emissions from industry and from power together account for an extra 43% of the decrease in daily global emissions.

Aviation is that the economic sector most impacted by the lockdown. But it only accounts for 3% of worldwide emissions, or 10% of the decrease in emissions during the pandemic.

COVID-19 causes drop in global carbon emissions
COVID 19 Effect Atmosphere

The increase within the use of domestic buildings from people operating at home only marginally offset the drop by emissions from other sectors.

In individual countries, emissions decreased by 26% on average at the height of their confinement.

The study shows that human responses alone will not drive the deep and extended reductions needed to reach net-zero eruptions.

Professor Corinne Le Quéré lead analyst at the University of East Anglia said “the amount to which world leaders consider global environment change when shaping their economic responses post COVID-19. This will influence the worldwide CO2 emissions paths for many years to return”.

According to the professor that opportunities exist to make real, durable, changes and be more resilient to future crises, by implementing economic stimulus packages that also help meet climate targets, particularly for movement, which accounts for half the decrease in emissions during confinement.

CO2 Data Analysis

The team analyzed government policies on confinement for 69 countries liable for 97% of worldwide CO2 emissions. At the height of the confinement, regions liable for 89% of worldwide CO2 emissions were under some level of restriction.

The estimated total change in emissions from the pandemic amounts to 1048 million tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) until the top of April. Of this, the changes are largest in China where the confinement started, with a decrease of 242 MtCO2, then inside Europe (123 MtCO2), US (207 MtCO2), and India (98 MtCO2). the entire change within the UK for January-April 2020 is an estimated 18 MtCO2.

The impact of confinement on 2020 annual emissions is projected to be around 4% to 7% compared to 2019, counting on the duration of the lockdown and therefore the extent of the recovery.

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