Coronavirus has temporarily reduced China’s CO2 emissions by a quarter


Electricity demand and industrial output remain far below their usual levels across a range of indicators, many of which are at their lowest two-week average in several years. These include:

  • Coal use at power stations reporting daily data at a four-year low.
  • Oil refinery operating rates in Shandong province at the lowest level since 2015.
  • Output of key steel product lines at the lowest level for five years.
  • Levels of NO2 air pollution over China down 36% on the same period last year.
  • Domestic flights are down up to 70% compared to last month.

All told, the measures to contain coronavirus have resulted in reductions of 15% to 40% in output across key industrial sectors. This is likely to have wiped out a quarter or more of the country’s CO2 emissions over the past two weeks, the period when activity would normally have resumed after the Chinese new-year holiday. (See methodology below.)

Source: Coronavirus has temporarily reduced China’s CO2 emissions by a quarter: Carbon Brief

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