For those who are no longer commuting to work or traveling due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, your time spent off the road and out of the skies has had a positive effect on the global environment. In the graph above sourced from Nature Communications, we see that the largest contributions to the global decrease in emissions in 2020 come from ground transportation, the power sector and the aviation sectors.
Nature Climate Change published a report in March 2021 saying 2020’s carbon output fell by about 7% from the previous year. This is bright spot to come from a year that in many ways was unpredictable and troubling. However, these results will need to be repeated once every two years to meet the safe worldwide temperature range by 2030 according to the Paris Agreement.
Liu, Z., Ciais, P., Deng, Z. et al. Near-real-time monitoring of global CO2 emissions reveals the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nat Commun 11, 5172 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18922-7