As a result of lockdown regulations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, global methane emissions have declined slightly during 2020.
According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, methane emissions dropped by 10 percent during 2020, largely thanks to lower oil and gas production amid the pandemic economy. While methane has a shorter lifespan than carbon dioxide and there’s much less of it in the atmosphere, it’s much more efficient at absorbing energy and is the second-largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide emissions. The IEA says that over 77 million tons of gas were released last year, and though a slight decline is good news, emissions will have to be reduced by a whopping 70 percent by 2030 under the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario.
The news comes shortly NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies found a slight decline in carbon emissions across 2020 as well, also largely attributed to lockdown regulations amid and a standstill for global travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, the institute still recorded 2020 as the hottest year in history, tying for first place with 2016 with temperates 1.02 degrees Celsius warmer than the baseline average between 1951-1980.
Elsewhere in related news, Primavera Sound’s trial festival has found zero COVID-19 cases.