Coronavirus Might Cause the Largest Ever Annual Fall in Carbon Emmissions
The environmental impact of lockdowns and quarantines around the world seem to be vast. From making the earth vibrate less to wild animals having fun, we hear about good things happening to the environment without us.
Now, the Global Carbon Project—an organization that quantifies global greenhouse gas emissions—says we could see the largest ever annual fall in carbon dioxide emissions since World War II. How much of a drop are we talking about? Five percent or more. That sounds promising and all, but it still definitely isn't enough.
“I wouldn’t be shocked to see a five percent or more drop in carbon dioxide emissions this year, something not seen since the end of World War II,” Rob Jackson, who chairs the Global Carbon Project, told Reuters. “Neither the fall of the Soviet Union nor the various oil or savings and loan crises of the past 50 years are likely to have affected emissions the way this crisis is.”
In 2008, the Great Recession gave us a 1.4 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Before COVID-19, emissions increased by some percent year after year. And once everything is back to some amount of normality, we can expect that rate to continue rising.
Another worrying aspect is that this could be the last time this kind of drop could happen. That is, unless stricter climate-smart practices are implemented all over the world.