Global carbon emissions down by record 7% in 2020

By: | January 6th, 2021

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Most of us consider 2020 as one of the worst in the history of human civilization. The year started with a terrible bush-fire in Australia, then came the coronavirus pandemic.

Worldwide countries imposed lock-downs and restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This all resulted in collapsing of economies around the world.

2020 an unexpectedly good year for the climate: But there is the good news in these bad times. According to the international group of scientists,  COVID-19 pandemic reduced global greenhouse gas emissions by a record 7% this year.

Due to lockdown, it became more expensive to store the oil than to pay someone to take it away. There was a record fall in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel demand.

The 2020 year saw emissions cut by an estimated 2.4 billion metric tons

 It shattered all previous records of annual declines, like 0.9 billion metric tons at the end of World War II.

This all puts 2020 almost in line with what is required to keep the Paris climate deal goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C within reach.

FatihBirol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, “I am afraid that if governments do not take major new policies we may well see that the decline we are experiencing in emissions this year will rebound,”

“If governments do not put clean energy policies in their economic recovery packages we will go back to where we were before the pandemic.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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