Coronavirus cuts China’s CO2 emissions by 100 million metric tonnes

A new report claims electricity demand and industrial output remain ‘far below their usual levels’ after the epidemic outbreak

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Carbon dioxide emissions in China have fallen by around 100 million metric tonnes because of the coronavirus, according to a new report conducted by the climate nonprofit Carbon Brief.

It claims that the amount of reduced carbon dioxide emissions is close to what Chile emits in a year.

The calculated drop in carbon dioxide is based on fossil-fuel consumption data by sector for February 2019 and by estimating year-on-year changes for a five-year period.

The report suggests the reduction in emissions is mostly a result of lower output from oil refineries and lower coal use for power generation as most businesses and factories are shut during the period of the coronavirus outbreak.

It says that several sector activity indicators had been taken into consideration to estimate the change in the country’s environmental impact after the emergence of the virus, including the daily coal consumption at power plants, coking plants, blast furnaces, steel plants and oil refineries.

In the two-week period commencing 3rd February this year, average coal consumption at power plants fell to a four-year low, with no sign of recovery as of 16th February.

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