Climate change due to COVID-19

A peek of life with a clean climate


Natalie Eljamal

In such a short period of time, global emissions have decreased by 2% in a span of only 2-3 months. Still decreasing, high emissions polluters like China are down by 23%, and America by 33%.

Natalie Eljamal, Online Editor

After Australian fires, heatwaves in Asia and countless earthquakes, climate change around the world looked to be deteriorating a lot faster than we could handle. With the recent coronavirus outbreak adding on, millions of people across the globe have had to change their lifestyle indefinitely due to the pandemic, and the future of our climate was the last thing many thought about. 

No matter what social or economic class one is a part of, this virus does not pick and choose. Shutdowns have been issued to one-third of the world population, putting us all in the same shoes. Most students are at home due to school closures along with parents home from work either working remotely or temporarily laid off due to lack of work. 

While for many, the world may seem to be crumbling around them, Earth is actually doing the opposite. According to The Guardian, for the first time in years, Venice, Italy, has clear canals, fish are seen swimming in the water and the swans have even returned. In Calgary, Italy, dolphins are seen swimming in the waterways. Air pollution has also dropped tremendously due to the strict movement of residents. 

Road traffic in the UK has fallen by more than 70% in less than a month due to isolation orders from the government. Air traffic has also significantly decreased as fewer people are flying due to travel restrictions from many countries. In the US, international travel has fallen more than 72%. The large dip in air traffic and other pollution will temporarily alleviate our crisis with greenhouse gas emissions. 

In many countries, the number of roadkill has soared down since fewer cars are being driven. Grass in many areas in the UK is not being cut since it is not a necessity so wildlife is thriving in areas they used to inhabit along with wildflowers growing and adding color to the streets. Coyotes have finally been seen again on the Golden Gate Bridge, and in Wales, peacocks are seen in the streets after years. 

In America, carbon emissions went down immensely. New York dropped by 22%, Denver by 15% and Los Angeles by 33%. In China, air pollution also went down significantly, according to CNN, pollution going down potentially saved 20 million lives. Though, without serious change moving on forward, these events will unfortunately not stay. But while it may seem like everything is going downhill in society, staying home is both keeping people healthy and safe and creating cleaner environments since fewer cars are being driven and less pollution from factories and buildings.