Coronavirus could cause largest drop in carbon emissions ever: report

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The coroanvirus pandemic is causing an unprecedented plunge in global energy demand, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Worldwide, energy demand is predicted to drop by 6 percent this year, the IEA report claims. Oil, gas and coal will all be hit hard, the report predicts, as the world has come to standstill and demand for everything from lights in office buildings to power for trains and planes takes a huge dive.

And, the lowered energy demand could reduce greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change by almost 8 percent for 2020, which would be the largest annual decrease ever recorded, the IEA said.

"If lockdowns last for many months and recoveries are slow across much of the world, as is increasingly likely, annual energy demand will drop by 6 percent in 2020, wiping off the last five years of demand growth. Such a decline has not been seen for the past 70 years," the organization said in its report.

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A view of the downtown Los Angeles skyline with the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains in the background on November 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

A view of the downtown Los Angeles skyline with the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains in the background on November 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to the coronavirus, the drop in demand is related to a mild winter across much of the United States.

Experts also warn that a "bumpier restart, disruption to global supply chains, and a second wave of infections" later in 2020 could cut growth even more.

Skeptics have largely dismissed fears over man’s impact on global warming, saying climate change has been going on since the beginning of time. They also claim the dangers of a warming planet are being wildly exaggerated and question the impact that fossil fuels have had on climate change.

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As of Thursday afternoon, more than 1 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. and the virus has killed at least 61,000.

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