The International Energy Agency is reporting that carbon dioxide emissions are down to approximately the level they were a decade ago. According to the agency, this drop is six times larger than the previous record in 2009.
The report goes on to assert that the cause of this drop in carbon emissions is due to the mass restrictions in place around the world in the fight against COVID-19. Carbon emissions are expected to plummet six to eight percent this year, drastically higher than in 2009, when the US economic crash had similar effects on carbon emissions.
“In absolute terms, the decline is unprecedented — the equivalent of losing the entire energy demand of India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer,” the agency’s Global Energy Report said in a statement meant to put the drop in perspective.
Despite the decline in emissions, the IEA went on to warn that the rebound in emissions following a drop is historically higher than the decline.
Executive Director of the IEA Fatih Birol denounced calls for celebration, pointing to the destruction of COVID-19 as outweighing the environmental benefits. However, Birol went on to advocate for governments’ renewed investment in clean energy once economies began to reopen.
“The important thing is what happens next year,” said Birol.