The Coronavirus (Covid 19) is the first and foremost issue of our health! However people have changed their everyday behaviours and activities to help contain, control and avoid catching the virus. There have been some subtle effects that have occurred in the environment.
In a matter of months, the world has been transformed. Thousands of people have already died, and hundreds of thousands more have fallen ill, from a coronavirus that was previously unknown before appearing in the city of Wuhan in December 2019. For millions of others who have not caught the disease, their entire way of life has changed by it.
On February 28, it was reported how decreases in industrial, transportation, and business activity since the coronavirus outbreak had reduced levels of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over China and the world.
In China, Emissions fell by 25% at the start of the year. As people were instructed to stay at home, factories stopped production and the coal use fell by 40%. The number of days with ” good Air quality” was up 11.4% compared with the same time last year. Nitrogen
Dioxide (NO2) emissions fading away over Northern Italy, Spain and the UK.
A global pandemic that is claiming people’s lives certainly shouldn’t be seen as a way of bringing about environmental change either. For one thing, it’s far from certain how lasting this drop in emissions will be. When the pandemic eventually subsides, will carbon and pollutant emissions “bounce back” so much that it will be as if this clear-skied interlude never happened? Or could the changes we see today have a more persistent effect?
We know that for the duration of reduced travel during the pandemic, these emissions will stay lowered. But what will happen when measures are eventually lifted?
This pandemic has affected wild life, there is less fishing going on, Deforestation has slowed however so has the planting of new trees. I think we all need to look what has happened in the world around us and take a personal inventory of how we live ours lives.
So times of change can lead to the introduction of lasting habits. During the coronavirus outbreak, those habits that are coincidentally good for the climate might be travelling less or, perhaps,cutting down on food waste.
It’s safe to say that no one would have wanted for emissions to be lowered this way. Covid-19 has taken a grim global toll on lives, health services, jobs and mental health. But, if anything, it has also shown the difference that communities can make when they look out for each other – and that’s one lesson that could be invaluable in dealing with climate change.
With the virus consuming everybody’s attention, the climate issue has been crowded off the agenda. On Monday, the European Parliament opted to forgo a debate on the EU’s new Climate Law after the session was shortened to minimise people’s exposure. Parliament President David Sassoli then quarantined himself for two weeks.
“Meetings are being cancelled but important decisions should not be delayed,” said Anton Lazarus of the European Environmental Bureau. “The corona crisis cannot be allowed to slow down action to tackle climate and ecological crises.”
Please remember Earth Matters! Be responsible and think about what you are doing.