An international team of researchers found that a sudden drop in CO2 emissions during the first days of the COVID-19 epidemic indicates that it is possible to reduce emissions to meet global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius. In their paper published in Nature Geoscience, researchers describe the characteristics of the sudden decline in CO2 emissions by early 2020 and why they believe their data suggests such a decline in today’s economy. The editors of Nature Geoscience also published a summary of the team’s findings on this new effort in the same issue.
In the early days of the epidemic, no one knew how deadly coronavirus was or how quickly it could spread. So governments worldwide have ordered that the door be closed immediately – people stay at home instead of going to work. As a result, the economy of the name almost stopped. At that time, air pollution was significantly reduced due to a sharp decline in trucks and vehicles and the factory’s closure. In this new experiment, researchers have observed a decrease in CO2 emissions in the first year of the epidemic.
In 2015, countries around the world rallied in Paris and signed pledges promising to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to global temperatures by no more than 2 degrees Celsius – they also agreed on tangible conditions to keep temperatures up. Above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Since then, numerous research efforts have shown that a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius will not be achieved based on current actions.
The researchers found a 6.3% decline in 2020, reaching 2,200 metric tons less than last year. Researchers describe the decline as the largest in modern times, and it is large enough to meet the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius if kept to a minimum. But it was not supported, of course. As soon as the restrictions were lifted, people began to return to work, and CO2 emissions levels rose to measured levels before the epidemic started.
Researchers suggest that the 2020 cuts indicate that the Paris Agreement targets are achievable and recognize that similar reductions are possible without significant disruptions to the global economy. They note that many reductions by 2020, a third of your own, are due to a sharp decline in cars and trucks. If countries around the world put more pressure on car manufacturers and consumers, electric vehicles powered by renewable energy could become the norm, making goals such as 1.5 degrees Celsius achievable.