Devon’s carbon dioxide emissions have reduced by almost a quarter during the lockdown.
That’s according to data collected on behalf of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG), a group of public, private and voluntary sector bodies working to make Devon carbon-neutral by 2050.
The survey suggests average traffic flows in Devon have reduced by 60%, reducing the county’s total emissions by 17%.
The closure of many buildings has significantly reduced energy use and led emissions to drop a further 6%.
Air quality has also improved with the concentration of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in the air falling by 50% from last year.
Phil Norrey, Chairman of the DCERG and chief executive of Devon County Council, said: “Amongst the sadness of the pandemic there is a huge opportunity to use the economic stimulus measures that are necessary to enable communities to recover, to improve public health, our resilience and our wellbeing as well as address the climate and ecological emergencies.
“There are projects in Devon, for instance, sustainable transport and energy production, that could respond quickly to a cash injection to develop supply chains and skills for a low carbon future.”