The Coronavirus has been continuing to spread throughout the world rapidly. While there aren’t a whole lot of positives from the outbreak, there may be one silver lining, carbon emissions. According to a study conducted by Carbon Brief, there is a slowdown of emissions linked to the coronavirus and the policies put into effect to limit travel and movement of people.
China, the world’s largest emitter and ground zero for the virus, is currently emitting 25% less CO2 than previously. The slowdown is the largest since the financial crisis of 2008-2009. The demand for oil and coal has dropped dramatically as a result of large quarantines of entire cities and travel advisories. Around the world, large events have been canceled from South by Southwest to large sporting events which are all working toward further reducing emissions.
Certainly, this reduction is emissions is temporary but it may buy the world just a little more time to solve the climate crisis. This new information also shows that the world does have the ability to reduce global emissions rapidly, with minimal effects on the economy, if enough people demand action. Information about the Coronavirus and the impact on society can help learn more about the adaptability of people and find better ways to approach climate action.
Written by Justin Stanphill