IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON CARBON EMISSIONS

INTRODUCTION

Picture: Rajpath, New Delhi during lockdown.

When the whole world was going through immense science and technological  developments, busy in trade war  thinking about living on Mars, a sudden outbreak of an unknown virus COVID 19 slowed down all these developments. The very first case was reported on December 2019 in Wuhan city of China’s Hubei Province, which later within a few months transformed into a global Pandemic and  spread across the 213 countries of the world and took many lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has led to global lockdowns, and India also went into a strict lockdown in March, on a scale we haven’t seen before. 

From  the last few decades we heard a lot about the climate change and how it was affecting our planet and the species living here. One of the major reasons for this climate change is Carbon emission. Higher population results in the higher the usage of the natural resources and this never ending cycle has caused a major issue of  global warming. But the year 2020 proved as the boon for the nature, the year when the chain was broken down, and it can  only become possible because of COVID 19 pandemic lockdown, that resulted in the healing of our mother planet Earth. Even after such a crisis, if there is something positive to take from this terrible crisis, it could be that it offered  the air we might breathe in the low carbon  and the free world to the animals.  

A Picture of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir where birds are roaming freely during lockdown.

CARBON EMISSION AND IT’S SOURCES-

Carbon emission means the release of carbon into the atmosphere. Carbon is one of the major contributors of greenhouse gases. Carbon emission in atmosphere done by both nature and humans. Natural sources include decomposition, ocean release and respiration leads to carbon emission, but  nature does as it tends to do, it keeps most of these emissions in balance. Plants absorb CO2 through photosynthesis, and oceans absorb just about as much carbon dioxide as they let off. Carbon cycles through our air, water, and soil in a continuous process that supports life on earth. But the emissions caused by human activities created an imbalance in the climate cycle, activities like factories, construction, deforestation as well as the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. 

Picture showing contribution of CO2 in green house gases.

WHAT DOES THE REPORTS SAYS –

India is the third highest emitter of carbon-dioxide and is responsible for 6.9% of global emissions. However, India is working toward reducing  the emissions intensity and is also a part of great initiatives such as Paris Agreement, in which all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise and Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.

Picture showing fall in CO2 emissions in the financial year 2019-20.

However, the lockdown leads to  some positive outcomes, closing factories and keeping cars off roads proved be good for controlling CO2 emissions. According to the report of CarbonBrief and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), India’s CO2 emissions fall for the first time in four decades amid COVID 19. Emissions fell by 1% in the fiscal year ending March 2020, as coal consumption fell and oil consumption flatlined. And from the reports it has estimated that the carbon emission have fallen to 15% during the month of March and  30% in April. It is all because of  the lower demand of the electricity, fewer fights, reduced economic activities.

Picture showing fall in energy demand because of close factories and other organisations during lockdown.

The less consumption of fossil fuels, led to less  carbon release into the air.

  • Crude oil production in India decreased by 5.9% compared to last financial year
  • Coal-fired power generation fell 15% in March and 31% in the first three weeks of April, based on daily data from the national grid
  • Refinery production has been  dropped by 5.2% 
  • Crude oil processed  also fell by 1.1% over the last financial year, compared to 2018-19. 
  • Oil consumption during the national lockdown fell down to 18%  in March 2020.
  • Natural gas consumption  is expected to fall by 15-20% during the lockdown.
  • Crude steel production dropped by 22.7% in March 2020 compared to the previous month according to Ministry of Steel data.
Graph showing fall in CO2 emissions in India during lockdown.

CAN THIS REDUCTION LAST?

Picture of India Gate showing difference in pollution level before and after lockdown.

The important thing this pandemic teach us that the  planet is really good at taking care of itself. We can see that COVID has slowed the world down but on the surface it seems to be a  good thing for that other deadly crisis i.e; Global warming and  it is like a small victory against the climate change because it temporary. Once this pandemic ends government will try to compensate the loss which cause due to lockdown and to boost the economic development on the cost of environment.

HOW CAN WE MAKE DIFFERENCE

We can also contribute in  keeping the environment clean  by taking steps to reduce our own carbon footprints. Reducing your carbon footprint at home typically means consuming less energy we can do this by following activities :

  • Use cycles and public transport
  • Use high-efficiency Energy Star appliances, 
  • Unplugging electronics when they’re not in use, 
  • Heating and cooling your home efficiently
  • Use Energy Star-approved lightbulbs.

By these some small steps  we can allow the Earth to find its balance again, so that we can continue to enjoy and appreciate its beauty.

5 thoughts on “IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON CARBON EMISSIONS

  1. Good one and very informative 👏

  2. Quite informative and easy to understand. Well written.

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