No quick wins: The COVID-19 crisis and climate change

The measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a decline in CO2 emissions. But without structural changes in place, this will not benefit the climate in the long run.

Photo: istock / cozyta

The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought public life and entire economies in Asia to a halt and, with that, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions down. China, for instance, witnessed a temporary drop of its energy consumption and emissions by 25%. As the virus has been spreading, forcing governments to impose drastic measures to contain the virus, we have seen pollution levels drop and air quality improve all over the world. For most people from the climate scene, however, it is clear that the corona crisis is not quite the boon it might seem for the ongoing climate emergency.

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