How Much is COVID-19 Positively Impacting the Climate?
News of Venice’s waters clearing ever since the COVID-19 breakout spread like fire. The entire world grew emotional as schools of fish and swans appeared in Venice’s network of canals. The pictures of Venice’s pristine waters circulated throughout the internet. This led people to focus on the positive side of the pandemic, something that everyone needs to do.
Reduction in C02 Emissions Globally
As economic and travel activities ceased globally, nature took an opportunity to revive itself. Fewer cars on the roads and closure of many businesses turned out to have a positive effect on the environment. As mankind strives to save itself from the current pandemic, Mother Nature is all set to fix herself.
The pandemic has reduced 300 million metric tons of carbon pollutants.
In the US, emissions have reduced to 17%. However, business, and other commercial areas are opening. There will soon be more emissions from factories, office buildings, and other commercial spaces. Nonetheless, figures surrounding carbon emissions are not set to increase drastically.
As the pandemic started in China, it is obvious that the country has shrunk its carbon footprint. C02 emissions in China fell by 25% during its February lockdown. Considering that China had the longest period of lockdown, there are going to be limited economic activities afterward. This will lead to a significant reduction in C02 emissions.
India recorded its first-ever drop in annual emissions for the year ending March. The data also estimated a 30% drop in emissions in the next three months.
Impact of Reduced Transport
Transport is a major source of gaseous emissions in the environment. As the number of cars on roads has significantly reduced, it has reduced C02 emissions to a large extent. However, many people argue that this positive impact is temporary. After states lift stay-at-home orders, we will see the same or an even greater number of vehicles on roads. However, this is not entirely true.
While self-isolating, many people have developed healthy activities to keep themselves busy. Many people are spending time running, cycling, or jogging. They seem to become less habitual of driving. Even when people must go to the drug store or to the grocery, they prefer cycling or walking.
When talking about the reduced emissions from transport, how can we not mention the airplanes? The travel bans and restrictions globally have substantially decreased air traffic. The pandemic has the potential to cut down carbon emissions by more than one-third in 2020.
Air and Water Pollution
The improved air and water quality are a by-product of the lockdown in many countries. There is a drastic drop in air pollution levels in many countries, as the satellite images show.
It is no secret that even developed countries dump commercial and industrial waste into waters. Thankfully, during the pandemic, the dumping of waste in water bodies has significantly reduced.
Ban on traveling has substantially improved water quality. Cruise ships are another major source of polluting oceans. They emit gasses and toxic chemicals into the water. When the pandemic is over, it is likely that the cruise business is not going to resume the same way. There will be restrictions, and most people will avoid cruises as they can be a hotspot for spreading the virus.