Study: ‘Surprisingly rapid’ rebound in carbon emissions post-lockdown

The Guardian discusses the ‘Surprisingly rapid’ rebound in carbon emissions post-lockdown. Busier roads to blame, with fears of worse to come as workers shun public transport.

Carbon dioxide emissions have rebounded around the world as lockdown conditions have eased, raising fears that annual emissions of greenhouse gases could surge to higher than ever levels after the coronavirus pandemic, unless governments take swift action.

Emissions fell by a quarter when the lockdowns were at their peak, and in early April global daily carbon dioxide emissions were still down by 17% compared with the average figure for 2019, research published last month in the journal Nature Climate Change found.

Now daily carbon emissions are still down on 2019 levels, but by only 5% on average globally, according to an updated study.

“Things have happened very fast,” said Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia and the lead author of the studies. “Very few countries still have stringent confinement. We expected emissions to come back, but that they have done so rapidly is the biggest surprise.”

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