Source: The Hindu
Manifest pedagogy: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a breather for the activities on earth and has enabled the environment to restore itself. As a fodder for essay and environment questions in mains, this dimension would help.
In news: Coronavirus outbreak has reduced carbon emissions
- Impact of coronavirus outbreak on environment
- Challenges ahead
Impact of coronavirus outbreak on environment:
- There is a significant decline in air pollution in major cities worldwide as countries have implemented stricter quarantines and travel restrictions.
- The European Space Agency (ESA) observed a particularly marked decline in emissions of nitrogen dioxide, in northern Italy.
- Venice’s typically murky waterways have turned clear as the sediment has remained on the ground without boat traffic.
- Though the water quality in the canals has not necessarily changed, the air quality has improved due to the slowdown of day-to-day life and economic activity.
- NASA’s Earth Observatory pollution satellites show “significant decreases” in air pollution over China since the Coronavirus outbreak began.
- According to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the average number of ‘good quality air days’ increased 21.5% in February, 2020 compared to the same period last year.
- According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), around 85 cities across India have seen a drop in air pollution since the country started its nationwide lockdown.
- The Himalayan mountain range is now visible in Punjab from more than 100 miles away, for the first time in almost 30 years due to the reduction in air pollution.
- Delhi saw up to a 44% reduction in PM10 air pollution levels on the first day of its restrictions.
- With the restrictions imposed on travel, major airlines have issued statements about huge dips in demand.
- The International Energy Agency (IEA), has warned that the virus would weaken global investments in clean energy and industry efforts to reduce emissions.
- It has called on governments to offer stimulus packages that consider climate change, but which are likely not the response from many countries.
- The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic which largely depends on nuclear energy and coal, has urged the European Union to abandon its landmark green law focusing on carbon neutrality.
- Major U.S. airlines are asking for billions of dollars in government aid as they face potential bankruptcy from travel decline.
- Air travel is expected to bounce back after the pandemic subsides and the industry’s emissions are expected to triple by 2050.
- According to the Global Carbon Project report, companies that are getting hurt financially will likely delay or cancel climate-friendly projects that require investment up front.
- Hence climate researchers have warned that the virus will hinder climate change action from corporations and countries in the long-run.