Pandemic leads to biggest ever fall in emissions

The dowturn in international air travel has played a major role in falling greenhouse gas emissions (Bigstock)

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest-ever drop in greenhouse emissions, but also resulted in the loss of 150 million jobs worldwide, a study shows. Source: SBS News.

The study, published in the international scientific journal PLOS ONE, examined how the global economic and environmental impacts of the pandemic are closely linked.

The international group of researchers, including those at the University of Sydney, found global greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.5 gigatons during the early months of the pandemic.

The drop of 4.6 per cent is the largest ever recorded, dating back past the Industrial Revolution.

Emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide - the by-products of burning fossil fuels - and fuel combustion also fell by 5.1 megatons, a drop of 2.9 per cent.

The fall in pollution was driven in part by the global downturn in aviation and tourism, with the pandemic putting more than 4 per cent of the global workforce out of a job.

Worldwide, the equivalent of 147 million full-time jobs have been lost, 4.2 per cent of the global workforce.

Global consumption fell by $5.467 trillion - roughly the size of the German economy.

The authors warn the environmental gains are likely to be wiped out as the global economy recovers.


The coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest drop in greenhouse emissions in human history (SBS News)

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