Coronavirus Shutdown Reduces China’s Pollution by 25%

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The last month has brought China to a standstill, with factory shutdowns and cities on lockdown it has faced one of the most contagious virus epidemics of the century.

A recent Carbon Brief analysis shows that China’s CO2 emissions have been temporarily reduced by 25% as a consequence of the coronavirus epidemic—6% of global emissions over this period.
This is due to their lowest energy demand in years, indicated by:

Pollution

  • a four year low in coal use power stations
  • low operating rates of oil refineries
  • domestic flights down 70% compared to the previous month
  • NO2 air pollution down 36%
  • a five year low in steel product lines

Whether major CO2 emitting industries will quickly catch up after the shutdown remains to be seen. In the meantime NASA satellite images show a stark drop in air pollution—with noxious gas NO2 almost at zero—across China.

NASA satellite images

Pollution

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