CARBON EMISSIONS: Largest ever drop in CO2 emissions in the first half of the year
LONDON (Reuters) – Global carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions fell 8.8% in the first six months of the year, a half-year record largely due to restrictions on coronavirus, according to a report released Wednesday.
According to this study by the journal Nature Communications carried out by a group of scientists based in China, France, Japan and the United States, global CO² emissions fell by 1.551 million tonnes or 8.8% over the first half of year, compared to the same period last year.
This drop is also greater than that recorded during the Second World War, even if the average level of emissions is now much higher.
Last spring, most states resorted to containment measures to limit the coronavirus epidemic, which weighed on energy consumption and consequently led to this decline in greenhouse gas emissions.
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Warmer than usual temperatures across the northern hemisphere also contributed to the phenomenon.
The drop in emissions, which coincided with the containment measures, nevertheless continued in transport despite the relaxation of government measures.
“As of July 1, the effects of the pandemic on global emissions decreased while containment measures were lightened and certain economic activities resumed, in particular in China and in several European countries,” said this study.
“Nonetheless, significant differences persist between countries, with emissions continuing to decline in the United States where coronavirus cases are still increasing dramatically.”
(Nina Chestney, French version Flora Gomez, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)