Covid-19: Global CO2 emissions to drop by 8%

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While the global covid-19 pandemic may be taking negative effect on socioeconomic activities, nature seems to have the positive advantage from the pandemic. As political authorities across the globe declare various restrictive measures to contain the spread, industries are affected especially extractive industries.

The Global Energy Report 2020 predicted that global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are expected to decline by 8% or an almost 2.6 gigatonnes. “Such a year-on-year reduction would be the largest ever, six times larger than the previous record reduction of 0.4 Gt in 2009 caused by the global financial crisis and twice as large as the combined total of all previous reductions since the end of World War II.”

The report stated that impact of Covid‑19 on energy demand in 2020 would be more than seven times larger than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on global energy demand.

The report warned that the rebound in emissions may be larger than the decline, unless the wave of investment to restart the economy is dedicated to cleaner and more resilient energy infrastructure.

According to the report, analysis of daily data through middle April shows that countries in full lockdown experienced an average 25% decline in energy demand per week and countries in partial lockdown an average 18% decline.

The demand in global energy in the first quarter of 2020 declined by 3.8%. with various containment measures in place, in Europe, North America and other parts of the world, major impact was felt in March.

Global oil demand was also hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic with a decline of 5% in the first quarter. This was due to the drastic reduction in transportation especially aviation which account for nearly 60% of global oil demand.

During the period of full lockdown in most countries, electricity demand reduced by 20% due to low commercial and industrial operations. Demand also fell for all other sources of electricity, including coal, gas and nuclear power. Compared with the first quarter of 2019, the demand for coal fell by almost 8%.

The drop in coal demand was mainly due to covid-19 effect on China that runs a coal based economy. More also the growth in renewable energy contributed to the drop in coal demand.

The report stated, “energy demand contracts by 6%, the largest in 70 years in percentage terms and the largest ever in absolute terms.”

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