In December 2019, the first coronavirus case was detected in Hubai province of China. From then, it has spread to the entire world and has affected everyone’s lives and also the environment.
Impact of COVID-19 on the environment:
Due to lockdown, vehicular pollution dropped and most of the industries are forced to halt work for a few months. So, as a result, pollution reduced drastically. Fewer carbon emissions improved air quality. People could see clear skies in many areas, which were hitherto couldn’t see it. This made us think about the alternatives to the things that we are doing to our earth in the name of development.
It is expected that global carbon emissions from the fossil fuel industry could fall by 2.5bn tonnes this year, that means a reduction of 5%.
People are forced to stay in their homes and animals & birds are roaming freely as if they are reclaiming their space in the earth. And damaged rivers are recovering since industries are halted and hence no industrial waste and also people couldn’t get out to throw waste into the rivers. Even though all this phenomenon is temporary, this is making us ponder over the effect of people on the biodiversity in the world.
Due to COVID-19, many people are working from home, which is impacting the environment positively.
Consumer demand for non-essential items has reduced temporarily. So, the production of luxury goods was affected negatively. This is a plus for the environment because materialism is one of the biggest reasons for the pollution.
COVID-19 made people wear masks and gloves. Medical professionals are wearing Personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves. Single-use masks, gloves & PPE are contributing to plastic waste. And the increasing number of COVID-19 patients is resulting in tons of medical waste. In most cases, this waste is not being discarded in a proper manner and is becoming a health hazard.
Due to declining revenues in the oil & gas industry, some companies are not prioritising to fix gas leaks and hence methane emissions are increasing.
Countries may put climate talks aside to uplift economy at a faster pace. Leaders may ignore deadlines of lowering carbon emissions, and may not concentrate on switching to green energy, because restoring the economies is the number priority for many countries right now.
Even though the environment became better during our fight against COVID-19, this change is not a happy one. It is caused by millions of job losses. But this phase made us realize that nature can bounce back if we are willing to take steps. We need to put more focus on sustainable development.
Photo by Janik Butz from Pexels
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