Climate change has been a topic for current events for the last decade. The planet’s temperature levels have been on the increase for a while now. This is thanks to several industrial activities that have raised carbon emission levels. 

The Covid19 pandemic has put the whole globe on pause. Schools are locked, flights are grounded and workers now work from home. The virus has affected us all, in one way or the other.

Since the world is paused, climate change has also been put on pause. Is this a good thing or is it simply a slow ticking bomb?

Let’s discuss this.

New lows in Carbon emissions

Climate change is largely caused by carbon emission into the atmosphere. But carbon emission levels, all over the globe, are expected to fall by at least 4% this year. A massive drop like this has not been recorded in the last 100 years. This is all thanks to the Covid19 pandemic.

Why? Here are two reasons why.

  • Industrial activity has been shut down or limited largely all over the world. 
  • Traffic, on land, in the air or over the sea, has been largely reduced thanks to the lockdown. 

Cars, planes, ships, and industrial machines emit carbon into the air. They are major contributors to the carbon levels in the air. With their use being largely limited, it is easy to see why carbon emission levels are expected to hit an all-time low. 

Other Positives for climate change 

Asides, the drop in carbon emission levels, there are other positives to look forward to regarding climate change. 

Here are a few examples.

  • Working from home will soon become the norm. Remote work is being applied all over the world. This will result in a drop in the planet’s carbon footprint, which is good news for climate change.
  • Renewable energy research is being conducted. With the loss of access to coal and other fossil fuels, the focus has now shifted to renewable energy options. Given more time, this will result in a considerable drop in carbon emissions.
  • Plastic use is being reduced. With a lot of companies shut down, the use of plastics for processing and packaging goods has been cut down. This has reduced the amount of plastic being used on a day-to-day basis.

Is all well then?

Sadly, No. The virus has only given a temporary solution to our climate change problems. 

  • Every meeting, such as the COP26 and the U.N Ocean Conference, scheduled to take place this year for countries to discuss climate change has been shifted thanks to the pandemic.
  • Industrial activities are expected to return with more force as countries try to recover after the pandemic
  • Traffic levels are also predicted to go back up.

Just like the COVID19 pandemic, we need a permanent solution to our climate change problem. Countries need to come together to find such a solution. 

References

https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2020/06/25/covid-19-impacts-climate-change/

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52485712

https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/4-lessons-covid-19-to-help-fight-climate-change

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/covid-recovery-climate-and-health-hand-in-hand/

https://www.myclimate.org/information/faq/faq-detail/what-are-the-effects-of-climate-change

https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/effects-of/climate-change

Akinpelu Babatola

Guest Writer, The Xpress Train