(source: New Republic)
Analysis from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air estimates that government-directed quarantines and other restrictions due to the current coronavirus outbreak have temporarily reduced China’s greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter. China is currently the world’s largest emitter, even though the carbon footprints of most Chinese residents remain minuscule compared to Americans’.
It’s no secret that certain types of misery and societal upheaval can reduce emissions—from recessions to the collapse of the Soviet Union to epidemics such as the current coronavirus. Those are hardly formulas activists should cheer, much less try to replicate going forward. But the recent statistics out of China are a reminder of the remarkable impact of working patterns on emissions levels. There is a policy that could mirror some of the emissions reductions from undesirable events such as outbreaks, while improving quality of life: a four-day work week.
Reducing hours could have significant benefits for the climate, drastically cutting the energy needed to light, heat, and cool offices—and power computers. Furthermore, eliminating one round-trip commute week after week for millions of Americans could radically reduce nationwide transportation emissions—the biggest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the U.S.
What is your view? Read the entire proposal and tell us what you think.
Stay woke on carbon and climate. Go deep at carbon.substack.com
#climate #carbon #coronavirus
Join our VIP Carbon Tribe to receive our weekly newsletter!
Hi, I'm Walter, founder and editor of Carbon Creed: a blog and newsletter for people serious about tech and the low carbon economy.