Covid-19 has achieved what decades of climate change talks couldn’t – a significant decrease in our global emissions of carbon dioxide.
We’re looking at a decrease of up to 8% in 2020, or around 3 billion tons of CO2. This is significantly more than the decreases that followed other global recessions in the past half century or so. The 1973 and 1979 recession were responsible for a reduction of about 1 billion tons of CO2 a year; the 2009 recession trimmed 0.5billion tons.
This is not likely to be permanent. Emissions will rise once the global economy starts to recover.
However, the Covid-19 decrease does follow a flattening in global energy emissions in 2019, which, according to the International Energy Agency, reflects the expanding role of alternative energy sources.
It may mean we’ve reached the peak point of global emissions – good news indeed.
The Covid-19 emissions decrease is largely thanks to us using less fossil fuel-based energy and transport.
Hypergiant, the artificial intelligence technology company, has produced a CO2 emissions simulator for the US that draws on lessons from the effects of Covid-19 on the economy. Read more…