The coronavirus pandemic has reduced global CO₂ emissions by almost 2 gigatonnes - about the equivalent of the net increase in carbon emissions since 2013. Numbers released by the International Energy Agency show that the biggest decrease was linked to reduced oil use as virus lockdowns cut down on transportation. 1.2 gigatonnes - or 1.2 billion tonnes - of CO₂ reductions resulted from less oil products being burned.
Global carbon emissions, as well as global energy demand had increased in 2017 and 2018, mostly driven by China and the United States. Emissions flat-lined in 2019 as well as in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The coronavirus crisis led to the first significant annual decrease in global CO₂ emissions in recorded history, save a much smaller drop of 0.4 gigatonnes in 2009. With vaccination campaigns underway across the globe, it is doubtful that any of the reductions will remain longterm, however.