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:
- 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