CO2 emissions reduced due to COVID-19 pandemic


Emily Goldsmith

Covid-19 has led to a global reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Emily Goldsmith, Reporter

Cities are locked down, factories are closing and employees are moving from the office to home – the result is that our environment is thriving.

China, the world’s greatest emitter of carbon dioxide has seen a 25% drop in levels over the last month.

Mass quarantining as a result of Covid-19 has seen global travel bans – the result has been a limiting in aviation emissions.

But while travel bans have stopped people going to international conferences – there’s been a boom for telecommunication companies.  These conferences will now take place “virtually”.

Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University Peter Newman says travel and oil are two of the biggest sectors hit by the pandemic.

“In the future we can minimise our travel through telecommunications and doing it well so we can phase out the general needs for so much oil-based air flights,” he says.

Professor Newman says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will hold its counsel meeting of more than 700 people electronically. That’ll save about 10,000 kg in CO2 emissions.

Aviation currently accounts for around 2% of global emissions and is predicted to triple in the next three decades.

For perspective a return flight from Perth to Brisbane generates about 615 kg of CO2. So, the reduction of air travel will dramatically lower carbon dioxide emissions.

But staying at home in quarantine adds to our individual greenhouse gas emission through the consistent use of home appliances.

Watching TV and using airconditioners will almost cancel out the aviation reductions.

Solar power on roof tops and developing sustainable home gardens are two things that can be done in this time to help address the balance.