As the coronavirus pandemic forced much of the world into lockdown by early April, daily global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 17% compared with 2019 levels, a new study published May 19 in the journal Nature Climate Change found.
Near-real-time data on carbon emissions reveal the sectors, countries and events that had the most impact, but it is unclear how long the dip will last. The international response to the coronavirus pandemic has so far slashed global carbon emissions by more than 8%, according to detailed estimates from a pair of independent research teams. That’s roughly three times the annual emissions of Italy.
Government policies during the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically altered patterns of energy demand around the world. Many international borders were closed and populations were confined to their homes, which reduced transport and changed consumption patterns. Here we compile government policies and activity data to estimate the decrease in CO2 emissions during forced confinements.
The global coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold at a staggering pace, decimating lives, livelihoods and the normal functioning of society, as well as interrupting energy demand and CO2 emissions. Previous Carbon Brief analysis showed that the crisis temporarily cut CO2 emissions in China by 25%, with emissions still below normal more than two months after the country entered lockdown.