Carbon emissions drop to 2006 levels because of the pandemic

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Daily emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) worldwide fell by 17% in April, compared to the same period last year, according to a study published today (19) in the journal Nature Climate Change. The reduction is linked to the decline in demand for energy caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.

The result of the study conducted by university researchers from several countries reveals that the pollution rates caused by current climate changes are the same as those registered in 2006.

According to the authors, most of the cuts in CO2 emissions came from decreased demand in industries, energy generation and transportation. In the case of aviation, for example, greatly affected by confinement, there was a 60% drop in pollutant emissions.

Data from 69 countries were analyzed, which together represent 85% of the world population and 97% of global emissions. According to the survey, the main decreases occurred in China, the United States and India, which are among the largest carbon emitters on the planet and have implemented more restrictive measures to try to contain the advance of covid-19.

Annual result should not be as significant
Despite the drop in emissions of polluting gases reaching a level equivalent to that of 14 years ago, study participants are not very optimistic about the annual result, measured at the end of 2020. It is that the rates should rise again, as that there is relaxation of the quarantine.

As a result, the reduction in pollution at the end of the year should be between 7% and 8%, according to estimates, an index considered modest and insufficient to stop the problems caused by climate change.

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The final result can still be influenced by the time that the measures of social distance are prolonged.


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