The fight against the COVID-19 has reduced by 17 % the GHG emissions in the world

La lutte contre la COVID-19 a réduit de 17 % les émissions de GES dans le monde

La lutte contre la COVID-19 a réduit de 17 % les émissions de GES dans le monde

The GHG emissions in Canada decreased by approximately 20 %, a smaller decline than in many other countries, such as the United Kingdom or the United States.

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May 19, 2020 21h01

Updated at 22h57

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The fight against the COVID-19 has reduced by 17 % the GHG emissions in the world

Bob Weber

The Canadian Press

A study shows that measures taken to combat the pandemic of COVID-19 resulted in a decrease of 17% of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world. Most of the reductions result from the decrease of transport needs.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature, indicates that Canada’s emissions have declined about 20 %. This is a smaller decline than in many other countries, such as the United Kingdom or the United States.

The co-author Corinne Le Quere noted that Canada has imposed the latest restrictions on mobility, which were also less strict than in some places in the world.

Ms. Quere says the study shows the limits of individual actions in reducing GHG emissions. According to her, this demonstrates that government actions that farms will be needed to achieve the objectives of reduction of GHG emissions in the world.

“Behaviour change alone can’t fix everything,” said Ms. Le Quere, University of East Anglia in England. “You really need a structural change.”

The figures of greenhouse gas emissions are not normally available as long as the issuers have not reported. In this case, the researchers used a variety of elements related to estimating releases of carbon dioxide and other gases causing climate change while the country took strict measures to restrict the movements and activities of individuals.

Technology companies such as Apple have provided data. The aviation industry has offered information on flights. The electric utilities have provided figures on production and consumption.

The report published in the journal Nature includes estimates of the emissions of gases to greenhouse effect in 69 countries, representing 85% of the world’s population and 97% of global CO2 emissions.

The emissions of some countries have fallen much more than the average. At their lowest level, France’s emissions have fallen by 34%, and those of the United States of 32%.

The United Kingdom has posted a decline of 31%, Australia 28%, and China of 24%.

In addition to the transport surface and in the air, the other important reductions are attributed to the slowdown in electricity production and industrial activity.

The reductions are not necessarily good news, said co-author Rob Jackson, Stanford University in California.

“We don’t celebrate in a decrease in emissions because people are out of work. It is a way not sustainable in the fight against climate change. ”


Rob Jackson, Stanford University in California

And it is unlikely that these reductions are permanent.

The greenhouse gas emissions have been steadily decreasing during economic downturns and rebound immediately after, as during the recession of 2008. China’s emissions are already almost returned to their level prior to the pandemic.

What the study shows, ” continues Mr. Jackson, it is the limited nature of individual actions.

The pandemic has imposed controls to unprecedented personal mobility in many western countries and has suspended the work for tens of thousands of people – and yet, it led to only less than a fifth of the goal of carbon neutrality.

“It is not possible to get there only by virtue of personal choice”, he argued.

Le Soleil

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