Domestic aviation emissions could halve because of coronavirus restrictions, new analysis shows.
International and domestic travel has slowed because of bans put in place across the globe to slow the spread of coronavirus.
A report by think-tank the Australia Institute found international travel emissions dropped by about 10.3 megatonnes from February to March.
That's a 4.3 per cent decrease compared to February last year and 10 per cent lower in the first part of March compared to the same period in 2019.
Aviation amounts to about two per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and aren't included in the Paris Agreement.
Instead the industry has a separate deal, for net zero emissions growth from the baseline year of 2020.
International Air Transport Association has projected a 38 per cent cut to air travel in 2020 which equates to a 352.7 Mt fall in global civil aviation emissions compared to last year.
Locally, if most Qantas and Virgin planes are grounded for nine months emissions could decrease by up to 13.2 Mt or 56 per cent compared to 2019.
The Australia Institute's Richie Merzian says it remains to be seen if COVID-19 will permanently change flying habits.
"With the travel and quarantine restrictions in place, there has been an increased demand for alternative solutions - services like teleconferencing system Zoom recorded more active users in the first two months of 2020 than in all of 2019," he said.
"If we can work well together online now, perhaps it will permanently reduce the need for business travel and so emissions over the long term."
Australian Associated Press