Coronavirus has impacted our society in countless ways, leading us to rethink the things we once accepted as normal. Staggering effects have been seen in the environment, as well, not all of which are bad. Ideas surrounding bold climate action have circulated for decades, but few have been put into practice due to their negative effects on the industry. Lockdown has made some of these choices for us, and the results seem to speak for themselves.
The release of C02 into the atmosphere is arguably one of the most dangerous aspects of industrialization, and curbing its use certainly hasn’t been easy. In the wake of COVID-19 closures, however, nearly 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced.
A massive drop in power demand has also resulted–a deduction previously unimaginable. Changes in demand have been most noticeable in China, with a 42% drop occurring in the Hubei province alone. On a global level, a reduction of around 6% has been observed since the COVID pandemic began.
The demand for oil supply has also dropped, simply due to a reduced amount of movement in nearly every country worldwide. Overall, the demand has dropped around 5%, leading in some cases to oil companies paying customers to take extra crude oil off their hands, as they lack the space in which to store it.
Noise pollution is something many of us have become quite accustomed to, especially in busy urban areas. The reduction was first noticed in China: primarily in Wuhan where the first lockdowns were enforced. People began to notice the sounds of nature, such as birds singing and the wind in the trees–sounds which had been drowned out for decades before.
It is not yet known if any of these changes will continue long-term, or carry a lasting impact. Still, they provide us with a vital tool: the proof that such changes are possible.