Fewer commutes lead to more emissions – report

While emissions from transport fell over the initials weeks after government restrictions related to Covid-19 were introduced, it doesn’t seem like it’s all good news.

The BBC reports that air pollution in big cities could this winter increase because so many people are working from home, and therefore running their heating systems for much longer in the day.

The research from the think tank ECIU echoes long-given warnings by Professor Margaret Bell of Newcastle University who says emissions rise in winter when home workers have central heating on all day instead of sitting in a communal office.

The latest modelling suggests that boiler use will rise by 56% this winter due to coronavirus changing work patterns. It assumes more home heating but that offices will still have to have their heating on to keep those who are there warm.

The BBC adds that it also assumes that NOx emissions from cars will stay roughly the same, because although fewer people are going to the office, many are using cars when previously they would have taken buses or trains.


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