Skip to content

Global GHG Emissions Plunged An Unprecedented 17 Percent During Pandemic

“But scientists say the drivers of global warming could quickly bounce back as social distancing ends and economies rebound.”

“The wave of shutdowns and shuttered economies caused by the coronavirus pandemic fueled a momentous decline in global greenhouse gas emissions, although one unlikely to last, a group of scientists reported Tuesday.

As infections surged in March and April, nations worldwide experienced an abrupt reduction in driving, flying and industrial output, leading to a startling decline of more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That includes a peak drop in daily emissions of 17 percent in early April, according to the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change. For some nations, the falloff was much steeper.

Scientists have long insisted that the world must scale back carbon pollution significantly — and quickly — to mitigate the worst effects of climate change over the coming decades, although none have suggested that a deadly global pandemic is the way to do so.”

Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, and John Muyskens report for the Washington Post May 19, 2020.


“Study: World Carbon Pollution Falls 17% During Pandemic Peak” (AP)