COVID-19 Impact on Pollution
What have we learnt about COVID-19 and its impact on the environment?
April 23, 2020, Marianna Mäki-Teeri
The impacts of COVID-19 on the environment are likely to be temporary, but they give a historic opportunity to obtain new knowledge and renew our perspectives for handling the climate crisis.
COVID-19 has made a significant impact on the environment
"The pandemic has triggered a remarkable decrease in air pollution. The clearing of roads and skies and the suspension of industrial activities has brought visible changes for many major cities.
The impacts are likely to be temporary, but they give a historic opportunity to obtain new knowledge and renew our perspectives for handling the climate crisis.
Understandably, there are well-founded concerns that the pandemic will shift our focus from taking climate actions. Air pollution is not only a threat to planetary health; it kills millions of people every year. Recent research indicates a potential correlation between air pollution and COVID-19 deaths as well.
The pandemic has opened our eyes for the widening health risks caused by megatrends, such as globalisation and urbanisation. We will also face the deepening consequences of climate change if we build the post-pandemic world without continuing the efforts to combat it.
The current situation has reminded us that humans and nature are not separate. Forgetting the interconnectedness means living under false self-confidence, and the long-lasting ignorance will end up causing severe health impacts.
The switch from labelling environmentally-friendly solutions as human-friendly could be a small step, but it definitely would be a clear statement. Actions to mitigate pollution are increasingly needed not only to save the environment but also to protect our health."
Senior Manager, Foresight Analysis
Check out the "COVID-19 - The World After" on Futures Platform. Read more.