COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus which has hit China and other countries, has helped the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases to reduce its carbon footprint by a quarter in just two weeks.
According to a study by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in China are owing to energy demand and industrial output reaching their lowest level.
Reductions of 15% to 40% in output across key industries have been recorded.
In China alone, COVID-19 is estimated to have cut carbon emissions by 400 million tonnes, which is said to be the same amount of carbon emitted by the country in the first two weeks after its lunar year in 2019.
On a global scale, COVID-19 has to date reduced greenhouse carbon emissions by 100MtCO2.
Other factors driving the decline in emissions include:
- Coal use at power stations reporting daily data at a four-year low.
- Oil refinery operating rates in Shandong province at the lowest level since 2015.
- Output of key steel product lines at the lowest level for five years.
- Levels of NO2 air pollution over China down 36% on the same period last year.
- Domestic flights are down up to 70% compared to last month.
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