Coronavirus and the Environment: Temporary Impact or Opportunity to Learn Valuable Lessons?

Coronavirus and the Environment- Temporary Impact or Opportunity to Learn Valuable Lessons

It’s no secret that the short-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our environment is proving to be significant. As transport and industry ground to a halt, significant reductions in carbon emissions and pollution have been witnessed in countries such as China, Iran, Spain and Italy, with the rest of Europe and the US sure to follow suit as the time in lock-down increases.

But while there’s no doubt that “staying at home” can heal our atmosphere, the reality is that the benefits are temporary and will do very little to fight the ongoing global battle against climate change. As China begins to reduce its restrictions and the nation begins its journey to “normality”, we’re already witnessing the speedy return of air pollution.

In fact, many experts in the field of climate change and naturalism have shared deep concerns over a deepening of the crisis due to a lack of focus on environmental policy and maintenance of our natural habitats as people stay at home.

What is becoming clear however, is that in the course of tackling the desperate situation that we and so many of our neighbours are facing, there are a number of key lessons that could play an important role for the future path of environmental sustainability:

1. That we, as humans can make a difference!

It is of course completely unrealistic to expect the emergency measures witnessed across the globe in current times to continue once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. However, it is absolute proof that what we do and how we behave as human beings has great power to positively or negatively impact the world around us. Could the future be one in which we video conference more and travel less? There’s no doubt that over time, small changes could make a significant difference.

2. That nations are capable of coming together in the face of adversity.

Covid-19 has often been compared to a “war” – one in which we are all fighting. The disease does not respect boundaries, race or politics. We are fast understanding that by collaborating with other counties, sharing our experiences and learning from their lessons, we are better equipped to fight this battle. Could the same apply to tackling climate change?

3. That in the face of great adversity, government bodies and people can come together to help those around them.

It is striking to realise the lengths that people will go to, to help others in the face of adversity. Governing bodies across the world have, in various ways, gone to great lengths to protect their people and economies from the threats posed by the pandemic. People have come together to help those around them in need. By focusing on what unites us, rather than what divides us, great things can happen.

Globally, we are still very much in the thick of the fight against the coronavirus, and no amount of environmental healing or potential “future lessons” can make up for the tragic loss of lives still being caused by this disease.

Looking forward however, it is possible to see that if we take some key learnings from this experience and look at the potential good that can result from these challenging times, we may ultimately be able to approach environmental sustainability with fresh new eyes.

To speak to United Gas & Power about your role in helping towards a more sustainable future by using 100% renewable power, please contact us on Freephone: 0800 669 6697 or
Local: 0113 532 4411.

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