The Coronavirus has lessened China’s greenhouse gas emissions.
They say that every cloud has a silver lining. Ever since the Coronavirus started spreading, people were hard pressed to just find the edges of the clouds.
Interestingly enough, scientists just saw a small part of the Coronavirus’ lining. They found that China’s greenhouse gas emissions were declining due to the virus. As the online news site Independent stated, the Coronavirus did what political leaders were not able to.
China is known as the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the whole world. In the recent weeks, their emission levels have decreased by a quarter or 25%.
This was mainly due to the safety measures that have been enacted to stop the Coronavirus’ spreading.
For one, many if not all workers within certain Chinese states were forced to abandon work and stay at home. While this has had negative repercussions for the country’s economy, this has also helped because there are less cars on the road. Less automobiles means less air pollution.
This also means that there coal is not being burned anymore. Coal is one of the biggest contributors to air pollution.
This was confirmed by an expert at the Council on Foreign Affairs. This expert echoed the sentiment that if there was anything good to come out of the Coronavirus, it was the decline of industrial activity, automobile use, and manufacturing.
The expert then clarified that the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions will carry on for the first two months.
This is good news for environmentalists. However, this change might not remain once the situation normalizes. If China were to stimulate their economy by stimulus packages, it may push the emissions back to their normal levels.
Hope it Lasts
Many people are hopeful that this change will continue on. However, experts are skeptical. The Coronavirus has affected the country’s economy. This means that the bounceback of emissions is just around the corner.
China has already started letting factories reopen. Since the number of new cases was slowing down, the Chinese government saw it as an opportunity to get back to work. With people going back to work, vehicles will take to the roads once again.
These will all be part of the impending greenhouse gas rebound coming. Despite the fact that the gas emissions will return, the current drop has been nothing short of amazing.
The quarter drop contains an estimated 200 million tons of carbon dioxide at the same time last year. Similarly, gases from automobiles are down by 40%. This pertains to Nitrogen Dioxide which is common in cars, trucks, and other modes of transportation.
In addition, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have decided to reduce the number of oil barrels to produce. They slashed the production number by 1.5 million.
This reduction of oil barrels produced will also be a catalyst of similar greenhouse gas emission drops throughout the world.