Global Emissions Plunged During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Recently, they dropped an unprecedented 17 percent
The wave of lockdowns and shuttered economies caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic fueled a momentous decline in global greenhouse gas emissions, although one unlikely to last, a group of scientists reported Tuesday.
As COVID-19 infections surged in March and April, nations around the globe experienced an abrupt reduction in driving, flying and industrial output, leading to a startling decline of more than a billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That includes a peak decline in daily emissions of 17 percent in early April, according to the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. For some nations, the drop was much steeper.
Scientists have long insisted that the world must drastically scale back carbon pollution — and quickly — to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change over coming decades, although none have suggested that a deadly global pandemic is the way to accomplish it.
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