As countries around the world imposed lockdown orders it has also had the positive side effect of reducing carbon emissions.
With less travel and driving to work taking place, daily emissions have dropped by 17%. This is equal to 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, compared to April 2019.
Emissions from surface transport usually account for 43% of the total. As lockdowns begin to ease, the hope is that people will switch to more environmentally friendly modes of transport. In the UK, commuting by bike has been encouraged and in Central London there have been several major roads closed to vehicles.
The analysis comes from Professor of Climate Change Science, Corinne Le Quere, at the University of East Anglia. She states: “‘For example, in cities and suburbs, supporting walking and cycling, and the uptake of electric bikes, is far cheaper and better for wellbeing and air quality than building roads, and it preserves social distancing.’
A reduction in aviation traffic has also contributed to the drop. Usually flying only accounts for 3% of global emissions and there has been particular focus on reducing this even more within the industry.
As global travel looks to resume, there will be a renewed focus on limiting carbon emissions across the globe. The travel industry can contribute by encouraging more local travel and increase eco-friendly offerings. If surface transport is to also reduce, a focus on walking or cycling holidays could be placed at the top of the agenda.