the standstill of The economy and transport of the Virus reduces China’s climate emissions. Whether the effect is long-term, however, is questionable.

Better air in Beijing. But for how long? Photo: Andy Wong/Reuters

The global health crisis due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus leaves its traces also in the case of the CO2-emissions. The closure of regions in China, the decline of industrial production and transport, the forced vacation in factories, and authorities have lowered their economic performance.

According to a recent estimate has reduced the emissions of climate-damaging gases in the first weeks after the outbreak of the disease in China is about 200 million tonnes of CO2 – as much as the G20 country Argentina launches in a year.

This is the first estimate comes from Lauri Myllyvirta from the Beijing think tank “Crea”. Therefore, the Land is not returned after the Chinese new year in mid-January to its normal economic performance, but remained 15 to 40 percent behind.

So the coal consumption of power plants declined by 36 percent, and sales of coal in the largest port by 29 percent, oil Refineries were working, 34 percent less, and the pollution caused by flights decreased by 37 percent. “This has probably prevented a quarter of the CO2 emissions of the country,” writes the expert.

Because China accounts for over 11 billion tonnes of CO2, around 30 percent of global emissions, has such a national change in large global effects. This “dramatic short-term effects” showed a low consumption of Oil and coal as in the last four or five years, writes Myllyvirta in his Blog.

The corona-crisis lays flat is a different industry and thus relieves the load on the climate: The airline industry expects for 2020 a decline in the Win, most recently in the financial crisis. The industry Association, Iata expects this year with about 100 billion euros less revenue. At the beginning of March with the British Airline, the first airline Flybe went in the corona crisis broke.

What are the consequences of the current slump in China for the world’s climate depends on many factors. As long as the failure of the CO2-intensive Chinese economy take? What other countries and industries be affected? And how the failures can be compensated for later on, when extra-large CO2-started intensive projects?

Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, head of the Department of climate impacts at the research Institute, Climate Analytics, warns: “This downturn brings the climate-only discharge, if the opportunities are seized to take advantage of the economic stimulus programmes for green Investments.”

in Doing so, he not only sees China in the duty. About a possible Economic stimulus in Germany should serve to make the electricity cheaper, would be little won. For Minogue, the motto “climate protection only in the case of economic crisis, therefore” a “dangerous narrative”. Growth and resource consumption must be decoupled. The Problem from the point of view of climate protection was “not economic growth, but the CO2-emissions.”

How much the current System but is connected to it still, shows a study from November. Accordingly, the trade relieves the conflict between the United States and China in the short term, the climate: If the trading volume is cut in half because of the punitive duties could decrease global CO2 emissions by 0.16 per cent, the study in the journal Resouce and Energy Economics.

not A reason to be happy, however, warn the authors. Because on the one hand, the savings are low because products are elsewhere manufactured, or transported, in part, less efficient. And on the other hand, the idea of global cooperation – and the only way the climate crisis is effective in combating to suffer from economic isolation.