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World carbon dioxide emissions drop 7% in pandemic-hit 2020
Scientists say this drop is chiefly because people are staying home, travelling less by car and plane
A locked-down pandemic-struck world cut its carbon dioxide emissions this year by 7%, the biggest drop ever, new preliminary figures show.
Scientists say this drop is chiefly because people are staying home, travelling less by car and plane, and that emissions are expected to jump back up after the pandemic ends. Ground transportation makes up about one-fifth of emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief man-made heat-trapping gas.
The same group of scientists months ago predicted emission drops of 4% to 7%, depending on the progression of COVID-19. A second coronavirus wave and continued travel reductions pushed the decrease to 7%.
Even with the drop in 2020, the world on average put 1,185 tons (1,075 metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air every second.
Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, thinks emissions will increase after the pandemic but said: "I am optimistic that we have, as a society learned some lessons that may help decrease emissions in the future." (PTI)