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What the Covid-19 Outbreak Means for Climate Change

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many changes, from adjusting cultural norms to adopting more sustainable lifestyles.
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COVID-19 has affected people from all walks of life and almost every industry in the private sector. Because of this huge blow in the private sector, some have wondered if this pandemic has positively affected climate change. There have been some really positive and effects of COVID-19 on the environment. 

This pandemic has affected climate change in unimaginable ways, from finding reusable and sustainable ways of protecting the health workers to tourism-related effects. Here is a more detailed explanation of how coronavirus impacted climate change in both a positive and negative light:

Ingraining sustainable habits

If COVID-19 has taught individuals anything, it is self-reliance and sustainability. Some of the global lockdown protocols that were initiated promoted thinking in a sustainable way and this has impacted climate change positively. 

For example, some countries and states shut down restaurants and even curbside pickups. It is needless to mention how much of a difference this made to climate change. 

The lead research writer at dissertation help says that since these establishments that generally use packaging that is harmful to the environment were shut down, pollution was significantly reduced. The population was forced to adopt habits such as cooking their meals, which promotes sustainability to a great extent. Some even started their own gardens instead of shopping for everything they need.

Reduced tourism activity has limited land and beach pollution

Many public spaces were banned and the majority of the world was locked at their houses and apartments. That significantly reduced tourism activity globally. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many changes, from adjusting cultural norms to adopting more sustainable lifestyles.

With beaches and other tourist attractions being a ghost town, there was less pollution recorded. Pollution caused by concerts and other similar activities has been almost eliminated in areas where this has been banned. 

Marine life numbers have not significantly reduced as it were pre-COVID. Also, since many companies closed down for a while, the plastic produced reduced significantly and that meant the waste disposed of in the ocean was also reduced. 

It contributed to reduced ocean pollution and more sustainable life for marine life. Although this benefit will be short-lived, it was a manifestation of the positive effects of eradicating land and beach pollution. But that quickly changed when protective masks and other plastic equipment for medical purpose started filling in the oceans.

Fewer flights and international airfreight reduced carbon emissions 

Airline and airfreight companies are burning up more carbon emissions that the United Nations predicted. It is predicted that this industry alone is burning up 70% more carbon than it was forecasted. 

This greatly impacts climate change and that is why this grounding all flights had such a great impact. In the U.K, the carbon emissions were reduced by 36% with just four weeks into the global lockdown. 

One can only imagine how much more savings were made at a global standpoint. Some airfreight companies also grounded their airplanes because of COVID-19 so the airline industry was at a standstill. 

Although there is no way to permanently ground flights, this pandemic has made many companies and individuals realize alternatives to using airfreight on all orders. For example, some have opted to order locally at the destination country and that cuts costs and saves the environment. 

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Economic impact of COVID-19 leads to wiser decisions

COVID-19 has had a couple of other benefits in terms of prompting consumers to make wiser decisions when shopping. For example, shopping in bulk was one of the major highlights of this pandemic. That was because of limiting shopping trips to try and avoid contracting the virus. 

Thus, consumers started making one run to the shop and getting everything they needed, in bulk. That has various benefits, such as reducing packaging material and driving down carbon emissions. 

Since individuals got lower paychecks and some were even retrenched, they started shopping less at fast-food shops and focused on having enough food to last the month.

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Amazon deforestation

On the negative side of climate change impact, COVID-19 has perpetuated illegal deforestation. Loggers in the Amazon have started scaling their operations. One of the driving factors that caused this is negative economic effects. Since more people lost jobs or got fewer paychecks, these individuals opted to join the logging business.

That has caused a widespread climate change dilemma caused by deforestation. People try to do what they have to in for survival and unfortunately, this has harmed climate change. 

To combat this, there should be a commitment from local government, law enforcement, and the private sector. The latter stakeholder should try and create jobs for locals to prevent this catastrophic problem.

Increased carbon emissions caused by vehicles

Local governments have started easing lockdown restrictions and this has a negative impact on carbon emissions caused by cars. For example, by easing down restrictions on other non-essential companies, many employees have started going back to work. 

Because of the rate COVID-19 is spreading, companies have urged employees to limit contact with others. That includes reducing their use of public transportation and carpooling. 

This might exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and thus, more employees need to use their personal vehicles to get to work. As a result, carbon emissions are most likely to increase and have a direct impact on climate change.

Disposable PPE inappropriately disposed

Although there are some great sustainable options for protecting yourself from the virus, such as cloth masks, some prefer disposable materials. Because of this, there has been a spike of PPE that is inappropriately disposed of.

For example, some might throw away their plastic gloves wherever they think it appropriate. That might lead to seeing an increase in plastic disposed at sea. Disposable masks are also being thrown away carelessly in some parts of the world and that creates great concern for climate change.

The bottom line

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many changes, from adjusting cultural norms to adopting more sustainable lifestyles. This has had great effects on the environment but there are some negatives. For example, due to higher unemployment and reduces salaries and wages, some have resorted to illegal logging.

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Some individuals are also disposing of their PPE, such as disposable masks and gloves inappropriately. Lastly, more employees now aren't carpooling or using public transport, which will have an impact on carbon emissions.

Ashley Simmons