According to a new research, the biggest annual fall in CO2 emissions since World War Two was witnessed because of the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
So far this year, there has been a reduction of 7 per cent in emissions, showed the study. The greatest drop in emission has been recorded in France and the UK primarily because of the strict lockdown measures implemented to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
On the other hand, a large rebound from coronavirus was witnessed in China which can result in a growth in overall emissions this year.
All the previous big falls in carbon have been surpassed by the drop in 2020.
There was a 2.4 billion tonnes decline in carbon emissions this year, according to the Global Carbon Project team. On the other hand, the fall in carbon emissions was only about half a billion tonnes during the 2009 global economic recession. At the end of World War Two., there was a less than one billion tonne fall in emissions.
Over the year, the drop was about 12 per cent across Europe and the US, while the decline has been more in some individual countries.
According to one analysis, the drop was 15 per cent and 13 per cent in France and the UK respectively.
“The main reason is that these two countries had two waves of confinement that were really quite severe compared with other countries,” said Prof Corinne Le Quéré, from the University of East Anglia, UK, who contributed to the study.
“The UK and France have a lot of their emissions come from the transport sector and generally have a bit less coming from industry and other sectors. This is even more true in France, because so much of their electricity production is from nuclear energy, so 40% of their emissions are from the transport sector.”
Covid-19 restrictions have severely hit the aviation industry around the world and it is being expected that there will be a 40 per cent year on year decline in emission from this sector by the end of this year.
However China may have bucked this trend. It is estimated that there will be a drop of 1.7 per cent in emission in China for the year on the overall according to estimates of the research team while some analysis suggests that the overall carbon output in the country may have increased already as it has already rebounded enough from Covid-19.
“All our datasets show that China experienced a big drop in emissions in February and March, but the datasets differ in the level of emissions towards the end of 2020,” said Jan Ivar Korsbakken, a senior researcher at CICERO, who was involved in the study.
“In late 2020, China is at least close to having the same level of daily emissions as in 2019, and indeed some of our estimates suggest Chinese emissions may have actually increased for the year as a whole in 2020 relative to 2019, despite the pandemic,” he added.
(Adapted from BBC.com)