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Study confirms: Lockdowns lead to CO2 reduction

The global lockdown has led to a reduction in CO2 emissions in all countries. But there is a simple reason for this.

These figures speak volumes. The renowned Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) published its latest study on the climatic effects of the lockdown in the journal "Nature Communications" on Wednesday of this week. According to the study, an estimated 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2 were emitted into our atmosphere in the first half of 2020. This corresponds to a percentage value of the equivalent of 8.8 percent. The research team from Potsdam calculated a particularly strong value in the month of April, in which a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 17 percent was recorded worldwide. These figures, however, are primarily due to the extremely strong decline in road traffic and less to the behaviour of industries worldwide. However, the study also mentions that most international economies have returned to their old carbon dioxide levels after the easing.
Tragically, however, even if the low levels were to be maintained permanently, long-term CO2 concentrations would change only slightly, as the Potsdam study clearly shows. The study suggests that industry, in particular, would need to reduce its emissions globally in order for the levels to return to normal. However, the scientific report from East Germany leaves it completely open and unanswered how this could be achieved by the fluctuating global economy in times of a pandemic. Hans Schellnhuber, founding director of PIK, sums up the whole dilemma: "What we really need to focus on is reducing the CO2 intensity of our global economy.


So has the motorist been wrongly blamed for excessively high CO2 levels for years? Does this now unfairly mean even more driving bans and low emission zones in Europe, even though traffic is only a small part of the overall problem?

It seems like it...