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Carbon emissions in China are lower than during Covid pandemic after successive lockdowns

China’s carbon dioxide emissions have sunk lower than those measured during the Covid-19 pandemic after ongoing lockdowns across the country, potentially pointing to a major recession.

According to climate data company Kayrros, which uses satellites to track greenhouse gases, Eurasian countries have seen CO2 emissions fall close to those of March 2020, which preceded the last recession.

China’s emissions are lower than in 2021, when the majority of the world was in the grip of new Covid-19 strains, with CO2 levels hovering just above the time the pandemic first struck.

High energy prices are preventing countries from growing their economies, Kayrros said.

Carbon dioxide emissions in China and Europe have fallen to the same level as the lowest point of the Covid-19 pandemic, possibly pointing to a major recession

Carbon dioxide emissions in China and Europe have fallen to the same level as the lowest point of the Covid-19 pandemic, possibly pointing to a major recession

“Any drop in emissions is good news for the climate, but this is happening for the wrong reasons – because of economic pain rather than a sustainable move towards a sustainable energy system,” said Antoine Halff, co-founder and principal analyst at Kayrros.

China’s industrial emissions have fallen significantly after five weeks of lockdowns in its most populous city, Shanghai, with the country’s zero-Covid policy dropping retail sales for three months in a row.

Although the country has declared victory over the virus and ended the full two-month lockdown on June 1, Shanghai’s neighborhoods closed again a day after restrictions were eased.

Shenzhen, a city nearly 1,000 miles from Shanghai bordering Hong Kong, went into limited lockdown on Monday after another outbreak.

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Chinese construction investment – adjusted for inflation – is lower than a year ago.

Using the heat signature of industrial installations, the climate company identified the heat signature of industrial installations and thus estimated the CO2 emissions.

Data from Kayrros shows that cement production in China has fallen 30% below seasonal levels, another indicator of economic decline.

The technical flaw of Evergrande, China’s second-largest real estate developer, which faced economic collapse before the government intervened, led to a slowdown in China’s housing and construction sectors.

“In China, the data is consistent with reports of a slowdown in the construction industry,” a Kayrros spokesperson told MailOnline.

“However, there is the onset of an uptick in China in the latest data indicating that government incentives and infrastructure incentives could have an impact – and for coal-fired power generation, the heat wave in Henan is also supporting power generation.”

In Europe, industrial emissions are also close to March 2020 lows, pointing to factory closures across the continent.

According to the survey, the steel and cement sectors in Europe have been particularly affected.

The main changes are taking place in Germany and Italy, both heavily dependent on Russian energy.

Kayrros also monitored liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade across Eurasia in real time by tracking ships and identifying several instances of disruption caused by the war in Ukraine and other supply chain issues.

Last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would build two domestic LNG import terminals to receive gas from elsewhere. Four floating terminals could be operational by the winter of 2022.

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But European countries will struggle to fill the Russia-shaped energy gap with imported natural gas, Halff said.

One of the US’s largest export plants, Freeport LNG, has been shut down for at least three weeks after an explosion at the Texas Gulf Coast facility on June 9, raising the risk of gas shortages in Europe.

“The strong price reaction to the Freeport outage shows that countries cannot rely on importing more gas alone,” said Halff, adding that Europe’s reliance on imported US gas is only a temporary solution.

Failures at the Soyo LNG plant in Angola also affect global energy supplies. The two plants together account for approximately 5% of global LNG production.

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