Daily global emissions ‘cut to 2006 levels’ during the height of coronavirus crisis, but what happens now?

Owing to lockdown the smog has lifted as the World Economic Forum announce that the air today is as clean as it was back in 2006.

The Coronavirus has been a devastating knock to economies around the world with no clear end in sight, but there has been an enormous environmental benefit.

The World Economic Forum declared in May, that carbon dioxide levels have shot down to levels last seen in 2006, due to the lockdowns put in place across the world to help contain coronavirus. 

Carbon drop

The World Economic Forum, an NGO based in Switzerland, aims to improve society through global and regionalengagement and has a strong commitment to halting the climate crisis. 

In January, Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, urged attendees of the summit in Davos to set a net-zero climate target.

“If you have not done so already,” Schwab wrote in a letter to attendees, “We invite you to set a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.”

Most recently, The World Economic Forum has been covering the impact of the Coronavirus crisis and its fallout on other areas, including greenhouse gas emissions. 

In May, the Forum reflected on the massive drop in emissions, due to the worldwide lockdown caused by Coronavirus: “The drop was highest in early April, when regions responsible for 89% of global emissions were under some form of lockdown.” 

The clear benefits to clamping down on the high levels of carbon dioxide pollution have been felt across the planet.

From London’s cycle lanes filling up, to residents in Delhi being able to spot the Himalayas again thanks to the abating smog – the change is obviously attributed to lockdown.

In July, The World Economic Forum released The Sustainability Trends Report 2020, compiled by Generation Investment Management (GIM). 

In the report, the management highlight that the lockdowns put in place across the world have created a “unique opportunity” for creating a more sustainable future for all. 

Businesses and individuals not concerned with the immediate crisis, have had time to consider their impact on the environment.

“The economic and social hiatus caused by the outbreak provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reevaluate how we live, work, and what we want or need to consume,” the report says.

However, as countries emerge from lockdown, The World Economic Forum has expressed a hope that employers will encourage “sustainable choices” as their employees return to work. 

What are companies doing to keep carbon levels low?

As recently reported by CleanTech News, Google has entered into an agreement with the Hedet Wind Farm, purchasing 10-years worth of green electricity.

Apple meanwhile, have announced that by 2030, its products and supply chain will be 100% carbon neutral. 

There are also cutting-edge carbon-cutting policies from automakers, such as BMW, Porsche, Ford and Volvo.

From bushfires, to receding glaciers, planet Earth is getting hotter. The Coronavirus has proved that if humanity works together, we can find alternative ways to exist, without emitting such high levels of carbon dioxide. 

Helen Adams

Helen Adams is an Editor and Senior Writer for CleanTech News. A keen journalist, Helen developed an appreciation for the need for change in the battle against climate change after travelling and is passionate to communicate this through her work at CleanTech News. Now studying for her NCTJ Journalism MA, Helen wants to champion clean developments using her writing. Presently, Helen is developing her data journalism, video-making and podcasting skills which she is looking forward to incorporating into her role as Editor.