Someone has rightly said, ‘everything that exists and occurs under the sun has a good as well as a bad side to it’. Something similar was observed to have occurred after the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. The rapidly shooting cases of Coronavirus compelled the countries across the world to go on complete national lockdown. As an immediate effect of this lockdown, the pollution levels across the globe dropped drastically in just a few weeks’ time. Experts have announced to the world that though humanity is batteling against COVID-19, Coronavirus is fighting climate change.
So even though Coronavirus is bad news for human life, nature seems to be rejoicing its arrival. Wuhan, China, that is the birthplace of this virus, has always been a heavily polluted city. However, soon after it went into lockdown, its air became pure, skies looked clear and birds were seen enjoying their flight. Reports released by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Finland stated that in the month of February, China’s carbon emissions slipped down the scale dramatically by 100 million metric tonnes in just two weeks. So now in China, carbon dioxide emissions have dropped down by around 25 percent, claims a study by specialist outlet, Carbon Brief. China, a month back, was the worst hit with around 81,518 COVID-19 positive cases and about 3,305 reported deaths. This saw a drop in demand for China’s oil and coal, thus bringing down the emissions.
The reduction in pollution levels hasn’t remained restricted only to China. It has also been observed in the rest of the countries that have been attacked by the Coronavirus pandemic. Followed by China, the countries worst hit by the pandemic were Italy, Spain, Iran, Germany and the United States. The respective authorities in these countries too have confirmed that indeed Coronavirus is fighting climate change. Since the economic activities of the countries slowed down, factories ceased to operate, thus eliminating the emission of gasses and chemicals (although temporarily), that majorly warm up the earth.
In addition to this, since all the corporate and the overall working-class were made to compulsorily sit at home to contain the spread of the virus, traffic and transportation massively slowed down, which reduced the emission of carbon gases to a great extent. Another major factor that contributed to the drop-down in the pollution level was the reduction in demand of oil.
Coronavirus is fighting climate change in Itlay too. The country saw a drop in nitrogen dioxide levels between the months of January and March. The city of Venice saw clear waters after a long long time when its boat traffic reduced. The waters that were once murky, were now showing the land beneath the water. Marine creatures like dolphins and swans were seen taking a swim in its waters.
Research experts from New York also reported to the media that the level of carbon monoxide emission which is mainly caused by the vehicles on road came down by 50% as compared to last year. Not just this, but the level of methane has also slipped down sharply in the city.
COVID-19 cases in India too are rising by the day and the nation has already gone under lockdown. The country’s two most polluted cities, Delhi and Mumbai, too witnessed an improvement in the air’s quality and reduction of pollution levels.
These are some of the striking ways in which the Coronavirus is fighting climate change. However, many environmentalists have raised concerns that this ‘positive impact’ is only going to last till everything falls back to normal. After that, the pollution levels may hit even higher than usual. It is now upon us and the authorities to keep the pollution levels in check even after we humans succeed in defeating the virus.