World carbon dioxide emissions drop 7% in COVID-hit 2020

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So, we should do this every year.



I think there are enough people that will continue working from home after the pandemic is over to hopefully keep some of the reduction in miles driven. So happy for a tiny silver lining to 2020

The headline of this, though, should be how little individual action is the problem. I can’t think of a more sudden, drastic change in worldwide human behavior as we saw this year. No law incentivizing individual changes could have this big an impact. To really address climate change we should take this as proof that changes in individual behavior will never be enough. Major forced changes of the industries generating most of the emissions is the only thing that will have a big enough impact


Yep, we cut 7%. I have not put gas in my car since June. We need to cut 45% to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.

We are in deep doo.


I don’t see how that would follow: Just because some people work from home now and avoid some flights, they still order crap from China every day through Amazon. People also still use their air condition like there is no tomorrow. And here in Germany where we have good public transport, more people drive to work in their cars.

IMHO this number says nothing about individual action.



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So it’s like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day your whole adult life and then cutting back to 18 cigarettes a day.


From the article:

There is growing evidence that exposure to toxic air increases the risks from Covid-19 and the authors of the study say their findings underscore the need for local councils to do more to reduce car use and improve air quality by prioritising walking and cycling.

It appears that our response to Covid-19 will often make things worse in the long run, not better.


That’s what the OP was saying; that individual action isn’t going to make this kind of dent. It has to happen at the macro level with regulation and credible industry incentives. At least that’s what I took from it, @Scientist.

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It’s not bad news, and it’s a start (sort of), but we’d need to do this for the next 10 years just to keep under the 2° limit.

Under the Paris climate accord, signed five years ago, emissions cuts of 1 to 2 billion metric tons annually this decade are needed to limit the global temperature from rising well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Since the 2015 accord, emissions have grown each year. The UN says they must fall 7.6% annually by 2030 to reach the more ambitious temperature limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.


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