Drop in Emissions During COVID Will Have 'No Effect' on Climate | Smart News

As countries around the world implemented lockdown measures as part of their COVID-19 response, a measured decline in greenhouse gas emissions has emerged as a possible silver lining of the global pandemic.

But according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Friday, the effects on climate change will be negligible without aggressive investment in renewable energy and carbon-neutralizing technology.

The study, conducted by an international team led by researchers at University of Leeds, says that even if lockdown measures continue until the end of 2021—more than a year and a half in total—the planet may only cool by about 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030.

But if there is an aggressive investment in renewable energy sources after the pandemic, we could avoid an overall increase of 0.3 degrees by 2050. That might keep the planet within 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming from pre-industrial levels, in keeping with the Paris Climate Agreement, reports Matt Simon for Wired.

"Lockdown showed that we can change and change fast, but it also showed the limits of behavior change," Piers Forster, study co-author and director of the Priestley International Center for Climate at Britain's University of Leeds, tells AFP.

To understand how many kinds of greenhouse gases were emitted through travel, the researchers tracked Google’s and Apple’s anonymized mobility data from cell phones in 123 countries. They studied the changes in emission of ten greenhouse gases and air pollutan....

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