Carbon dioxide emissions could fall by the largest amount since WWII. Some projections expect that we could see up to a 5% drop in carbon dioxide emissions this year. I wish that were better news. For context, in order to hold global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need an annual emission reduction of 7.6% according to the UN.
We shutdown so much of the world and we’re only going to see a 5% reduction for this year alone.
Decreasing emissions will help avoid impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, continuing to Shelter in Place won’t last forever. We will get out of this. And carbon dioxide emission reductions from this crisis are nowhere near enough to slow global warming without systemic, societal change when we’re standing back up from this.
The takeaway – we still need to figure out sustainable ways to continually reduce carbon dioxide emissions. A yearly global pandemic isn’t about to become our climate policy – so it shouldn’t be the action having the most impact in that space. We need to enact new policies, mass adoption of emissions reduction technology, and massive behavior changes of individuals and corporations.