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Fact check: The coronavirus pandemic isn’t slowing climate change

Photo: State.gov

by Matthew Brown, USA Today


  • The shelter in place measures spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drop of emissions, but this drop was not significant enough to significantly slow climate change
  • Although The International Energy Agency projects global carbon emissions will fall by 8%, this year is set to be the hottest year ever on record
  • Alex Hall, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at UCLA, explains that the environmental effects of the pandemic will not have lasting effects:

“Because changes in the climate are the result of decades of accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, one year of slightly falling emissions will not counter long-term effects.”

  • Carbon sequestration is important because the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has been building up for years and will take longer to return to normal levels
  • Emissions reductions due to the pandemic are not sustainable because they are the result of an economic disaster and will ultimately rise again once the economy stabilizes

Increased air pollution from fires and fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/11/fact-check-coronavirus-pandemic-isnt-slowing-climate-change/3090790001/