SA: Global CO2 Emissions Saw Record Drop During Pandemic Lockdown


On April 7th, carbon dioxide emissions hit a low level that has not been observed since 2006. This finding suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic may have produced the greatest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions ever recorded. This reduction in emissions reflects the impact of reduced travel, eating in restaurants, and purchasing of merchandise. However, 80% of emissions remain unaffected despite the large reductions in these areas. Several scientists remark that CO2 is a long lived gas and these short term reductions will not impact the overall global trajectory. The emissions reduced in times of crisis, like a recession, have been observed to be quickly reversed in times of economic success. Emissions in China have already returned to pre-pandemic levels. Megan Mahajan, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation, remarks that to see a significant impacts on the global trajectory, we need to see major changes in our energy systems. She specifies that we need governmental investment in cleaning up power generation, transportation, and buildings to revive the economy and meet decarbonization targets. 

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