While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten millions of lives around the world, the first half of 2020 saw an unprecedented decline in CO2 emissions—larger than during the financial crisis of 2008, the oil crisis of 1979, or even World War II.
An international team of researchers has found that in the first six months of this year, 8.8 percent less carbon dioxide was emitted than in the same period in 2019—a total decrease of 1551 million tons.
The groundbreaking study not only offers a much more precise look at COVID-19’s impact on global energy consumption than previous analyses. It also suggests what fundamental steps could be taken to stabilize the global climate in the aftermath of the pandemic.
“What makes our study unique is the analysis of meticulously collected near-real-time data,” explains lead author Zhu Liu from the Department of Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
“By looking at the daily figures compiled by the Carbon Monitor research initiative we were able to get a much faster and more accurate overview, including timelines that show how emissions decreases have corresponded to lockdown measures in each country. Read more…