London, May 19 (efe-epa).- Global carbon emissions dropped by 17 per cent in April compared to last year, the lowest level since 2006, according to a report published Tuesday.
Widespread quarantines around the world imposed to help contain the coronavirus pandemic have seen many people confined to their homes and travel halted.
This has had a significant impact on energy demand globally, according to a paper published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.
Researchers warned that the positive effect will not last if governments do not introduce permanent measures to reduce harmful emissions.
Corinne Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom who led the analysis, urged governments to include environmental measures in their economic stimulus packages.
“The extent to which world leaders consider climate change when planning their economic responses post Covid-19 will influence the global CO2 emissions paths for decades to come,” she added.
She encouraged “real, durable changes” especially in ??transport to make the planet more able to cope with future crises.
“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,” she added.
Co-author of the research Rob Jackson, of Stanford University in the United States and chairman of the Global Carbon Project, said: “The drop in emissions is substantial but illustrates the challenge of reaching our Paris climate commitments.
“We need systemic change through green energy and electric cars, not temporary reductions from enforced behaviour.”
Scientists analysed the restrictions imposed in 69 countries responsible for 97 per cent of global CO2 emissions and their daily effect in key sectors of activity between January and April compared to 2019.