Carbon emissions plummeted across the world in 2020, a direct correlation to a reduction in transportation and industry brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Some of the largest drops in emissions came from the largest countries, like China, the U.S. and India, as lockdowns and restrictions kept many at home. New data shows the total emission drops for the year, and shows how quickly they can rise again as countries get a grip on COVID-19 and reopen their economy.
According to data collected by Bloomberg from Carbon Monitor, China was one of the few countries in 2020 to still have a positive increase in carbon emissions with a growth of around half a percent. Other areas, like the U.S., EU and India, still retained significant reductions in emissions over the year between 7 and 12 percent. As a whole, global emissions dropped roughly 4 percent in 2020.
The rise in emissions from China is directly related to their quick response and recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns last spring. From a macroeconomic perspective, the correlation between recovery and growing emissions will be a challenge for all major economies looking to recover quickly as the vaccine immunity progresses in 2021 – especially with many governments promising massive reductions in carbon and substantial investments in renewable energy and electric transportation over the coming decade.