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Coronavirus could cause fall in global CO2 emissions

(The Guardian, 10 Mar 2020) Responses to outbreak also show how government policy and behavioural changes can have impact

Governments should act with the same urgency on climate as on the coronavirus, leading campaigners say, as evidence mounts that the health crisis is reducing carbon emissions more than any policy.

The deadly virus outbreak, which has killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 116,000, has caused alarm around the world. However, unlike the response to global heating, it has shown how political and corporate leaders can take radical emergency action on the advice of scientists to protect human wellbeing.

In China – the source of the disease and the world’s largest carbon emitter – the actions taken by authorities have inadvertently demonstrated that hefty 25% carbon dioxide cuts can bring less traffic and cleaner air with only a small reduction in economic growth, according to a study by Carbon Brief.

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The Guardian, 10 Mar 2020: Coronavirus could cause fall in global CO2 emissions