Covid and the Impact on the Greenhouse Effect

 Covid and the Impact on the Greenhouse Effect

The pandemic which has kept us in our houses for such a long time has had important effects on CO2 emissions. However, what is needed to stop global warming is more than social distance.

By Luís Miguel da Costa / AJN Brasil

The worldwide pandemic of Covid-19 has changed the way we behave, establishing safety protocols to save lives as much as possible while we wait for vaccination, but what are the consequences of social isolation and the famous “lock-downs” when we look at climate change? 

Zhu Liu and his collaborators have pointed out that there was a reduction of about 7% in the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere in 2020 compared to what happened in 2019. Another research group has reported a decrease in emissions of this gas into the atmosphere and that the period where there was this reduction coincides with the period where severe measures were taken to contain the spread of the virus in countries such as Spain, China and Italy for example. 

The main hypothesis raised by these and other researchers is that the implementation of policies of social distancing, the closure of physical environments related to non-essential jobs, the reduction of road traffic and the restriction imposed on other sources of CO2 emissions have actually led to a drop in the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere. However, this reduction is artificial.

According to the articles published by National Geographic and the World Meteorological Organization, climate change is a cumulative problem, and this momentary reduction in emissions is not the defenitive solution. Especially because it is the consequence of a short-term policy whose objective is not greenhouse gas mitigation. 

Medium- to long-term measures must be implemented besides changes in the production chain aiming at sustainable production: only in this way, we will be effectively fighting the cumulative problem that is climate change.

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