Environmental impact research by the Global Carbon Project suggests that global carbon emissions from greenhouse gas could fall by 2.4 billion tonnes in 2020, 7% less than in 2019, the largest decline on record. On an absolute basis, the research puts the figure of CO2 emissions at 34 billion tonnes this year.
According to CNBC, the research was also supported by the University of East Anglia and the University of Exeter.
What Happened: The climate change study attributes the fall in greenhouse gas primarily to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
Although international travel restrictions might have negatively impacted the airline industry, the drop in aircraft emissions positively influenced the climate.
Across the globe, governments forced people to stay indoors and even work remotely, which eventually led to controlled emissions from road transport.
With many factories being shut, a decline in industrial emission also contributed to the overall emission reduction. The U.S. recorded a 12% drop in gas emissions, the European Union, excluding the United Kingdom, recorded an 11% fall, and India clocked a 9% drop. However, China, the leader in carbon emissions, reported a 1.7% drop this year.
Why Does It Matter: Bloomberg quoted Executive Director of Global Carbon Project, Pep Canadell, saying, “there is indeed an unprecedented opportunity that could curve down the future trajectory of emissions if we actively choose to do so.”
According to the report, emissions drop should be in the range of 25% to 50% by 2030 to control global warming to the extent of 2° to 1.5° Celsius over the preindustrial threshold, based on data generated from scientific models.
Bloomberg also cited CarbonMonitor’s research, which hinted that industrial emissions from China and Brazil are resurging since October.
The environment research expects levels to rise in 2021. Professor of climate change science at the University of East Anglia, Corinne Le Quéré, said in a press conference that “it’s a little bit early to say how big the rebound will be in 2021”, cites Bloomberg.
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