Record drop of 8.8%: in the first 6 months of the year alone,

global CO2 emissions fell by 1.5 billion tons

While the COVID pandemic continues to hold the planet in a vice, there are those who are trying to learn a lesson from the crisis. This is the case of an international group of scientists who wanted to evaluate more precisely the impact of COVID-19 on global CO2 emissions.

The researchers based their estimates on a wide range of data. From hourly electricity production in 31 countries, to daily traffic in more than 400 cities, from daily passenger flights to monthly industry production figures in 62 countries.

The result of this complex analysis could be translated into a simple number: 8.8. This is, in fact, the percentage of reduction in CO2 emissions obtained by scholars for the first six months of 2020 (compared to 2019). The 8.8% drop in global CO2 emissions corresponds to approximately 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide less released into the atmosphere. The biggest reduction? That recorded in the land transport sector with a decided -40%.

“What makes our study unique is the analysis of the meticulously collected data in near real time,” explains lead author Zhu Liu, of Tsinghua University in Beijing. “By looking at the daily data compiled by the Carbon Monitor research initiative, we were able to get a much faster and more accurate overview […] the timelines show how emissions reductions are matched by blocking measures in each country”.

You can also follow the trend of CO2 emissions worldwide, or in your country by visiting the website

Surely this pandemic has been a huge problem globally, but as the old saying goes: not all evil comes to harm. We can use this situation to learn and, when the world can restart at normal regimes, behave differently towards the earth.

written by #stefanosghinolfi