Internationally, the coronavirus has impacted many aspects of our world, from the economy and spending habits to our jobs and everyday routines. But what about our climate? Our ecological environment has been largely affected by COVID-19, as well.
Decreased Greenhouse Gas Emissions
While COVID-19 has spread globally, governments have initiated social distancing and stay-at-home orders in efforts to stop the spread. The lockdowns caused many industries and individuals to cease production and travel. Thus, causing a ripple effect in greenhouse gas emissions. Countries across the world are experiencing a drastic drop in greenhouse gas emissions, according to an article from the BBC. In fact, China experienced a 25% decrease in CO2 emissions. In the United States, New York has seen a decrease as low as 50% in CO2 emissions. Other major countries seeing similar decreases in CO2 and NO2 emissions include Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
While this decrease appears to be some much-needed good news during the pandemic, scientists and ecological specialists are skeptical that these drops in emissions are going to have any lasting effects. If these drops in emissions are caused from a decrease in manufacturing and travel, then what will happen after the virus has been contained, when production increases and daily travel routines return?
“The fight against pollution is a long-distance race, not a sprint,” said Xavier Querol, a science researcher specialized in atmospheric pollution. Essentially, this means the sudden drops in emissions happening across the globe are temporary and if we truly want to see a lasting positive effect in greenhouse gas emissions, we must look to other solutions.
A Closer Look at Energy Consumption
The majority of greenhouse gas emissions (72%) can be attributed to energy. Of that 72%, the manufacturing and transportation sectors together make up 27.7%, which is the main contributor to the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions that are being experienced around the world due to COVID-19 restrictions.
However, it’s not feasible to assume emission levels are going to remain where they are once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Therefore, we must look to the highest contributor of energy consumption, which is electricity and heat, and find solutions to decrease emissions.
Currently, there are multiple companies creating technology to support the goals of lowering emissions, slowing climate change, and lowering energy consumption. Melink Corporation is a leader in Zero-Energy buildings. Melink offers five energy solutions to create healthy buildings and decrease energy consumption:
- HVAC Test & Balance
- Intelli-Hood®, a demand control kitchen ventilation system
- PositiV®, a building health monitor system
- Solar Power
- Geothermal HVAC
Each of these services help create a sustainable world for future generations. They also serve as cost-saving opportunities for businesses to implement.
Coronavirus and Climate Change
In summation, what’s COVID-19 teaching us about decreasing climate change? Well, that’s a loaded question that cannot be answered fully. But the solution starts with decision makers, business owners/operators, and individual consumers. If any good comes from this pandemic, maybe it’s how our perspective is changing. Now, more than ever, we see the importance of preserving this world. This can be accomplished through maintaining our current environment and ensuring future generations are set up for success. We can improve when it comes to climate change, whether coronavirus is in the picture or not.