NEW DELHI: Emission of carbon dioxide in 2020 will fall by an estimated 4-7% compared to last year due to Covid-19 confinement policies, though they seem to have had little effect on stemming climate change, says United in Science 2020 report of multiple global agencies, led by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
The report, released on Wednesday, says reduction in emissions of CO2 in 2020 will only slightly impact the rate of increase in atmospheric concentrations, which are the result of past and current emissions, as well as the long lifetime of CO2. Besides analysing global emission during the pandemic, the report also underlines how the Covid-19 situation has significantly impacted “global observing systems” which, in turn, have affected the quality of forecast and other weather, climate and ocean-related services.
Noting that the daily global fossil CO2 emissions dropped by an unprecedented 17% compared to 2019 during peak lockdown in early April, it says, “Even so, emissions were still equivalent to 2006 levels, highlighting both the steep growth over the past 15 years and the continued dependence on fossil sources for energy.”
Though the exact decline will depend on the continued trajectory of the pandemic and governments’ responses to address it, the report highlights that the global daily fossil CO2 emissions had mostly returned to within 5% (1–8% range) below 2019 levels by early June, coinciding with the unlock phase in many countries.


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