This interesting article published on Bloomberg discusses the benefits of the COVID-19 to the environment and whether it has slowed down climate change.
It gave fascinating examples from big cities and urban areas how the dramatic halt to movement and travel have caused the following: billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide were prevented from being emitted, sharp drops in energy demands in big countries like China, India, and Japan, and the US, reduction of air pollution that can pose health threats in Delhi, Mumbai, and Los Angeles – where for the first time in a long time the city has finally met the WHO air quality guidelines.
The article even showed global satellite images of aviation traffic of March and April 2020, showing a significant thinning out of traffic in April 2020. Sounds of birds chirping, bicycles passing and music emanating from a church in Lisbon and the same in Toronto where before these sounds were drowned by the heavy car and bus traffic, and human movement.
Unfortunately, the reduction of fossil fuel use and carbon emissions due to the halt in business and human activity is only a pause to emissions, according to Pierre Friedlingstein of the University of Exeter.
He says that a drop in CO₂ emissions this year will still translate to an increase of 2ppm in the overall CO₂ count. And even if emissions will significantly drop or stop today, the expected increase in temperatures for the next 20 years will be unaffected due to the inertia in the climate system, the article says.
Even China has begun operating their factories with the easing of lockdowns, a hint that things will return to the way it was and any changes will just be a thing in the past, the article added.
How to move forward.
Carlo Buontempo, Director of Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said that:
“What happened during the pandemic – the shutting down of business and putting people out of work is not sustainable and to address climate change would even take much more than what happened during the pandemic. Businesses will have to keep their green recovery promises and make new ambitious plans. People will have to rethink their daily behaviors and consumption practices, nations will need to reach new agreements, and governments stimulus packages in trillions of dollars will need to be invested in creating jobs while reducing carbon emissions.”
To read this article and see what happened around the world during the height of the pandemic, click on the link below: