The Impact of Corona on Sustainability

Images are going around the world from NASA showing the air pollution in certain regions of the globe before and during the lock-down. Thus the immense recovery of the air becomes very obvious and visual.

Carbon Brief released that CO2 pollution dropped by 25% during a period of four weeks in China due to the national shut down (this corresponds to approx. 200m tonnes of CO2). 

These facts make it worth considering how the corona crisis and all related measures will affect the topic of sustainability in the future and to what extent our behavior patterns might change. Furthermore we could learn from the actions and adjusted behaviour during corona.

The corona crisis has shown very clearly what happens if we reduce our ecological footprint drastically.

The current crisis has shown very clearly what happens if we drastically reduce our ecological footprint. Beautiful pictures of dolphins in harbor, glass clear water in Venice and impressive images by the European Space Agency Copernicus, which show the reduction of air pollution in north Italy during the lock-down, will continue to be a reminder of what we can do in the future. That is the good news.

The bad news is that this environmental recovery will only last as long as the lock-down continues. After that, when we return to everyday life and the economy starts up, this development will be nullified.

However, we have the chance to keep these images in mind and to take them as positive reminder of the terrible corona crisis into the future. 

This might lead to a different behaviour in the future, where we continue to support small, local companies, are more considerate of the environment and conserve our valuable resources.

There is a great article by Tuuli-Anna, I recommend reading. She takes a look at the entire supply chain of companies and its impact on sustainability – also with regard to the corona crisis. It is called “Future Challenges for Supply Chains” and definitely worth reading.

Before the next business trip, we will hopefully first think about whether or not a flight is actually needed or whether we can stick with video conferencing.

I hope we can take these things into the future as a positive part of the corona crisis and utilise this opportunity. 

Why can’t we treat the climate crisis as a climate emergency? 

Why are we – and especially the politicians – shifting the necessary actions into the future? Just because we don’t yet have enough fatalities due to climate change yet? 

The alarming computer model predictions of large numbers of potential death due to the corona virus made politicians take action although it meant drastic changes of everyday life and the economy.

There are much more frightening scientific predictions forecasting much higher death numbers in the future due to climate change. Why don’t these models lead to similar actions by the politicians?

We currently have the chance to prevent climate emergencies before they occur. 

During the corona crisis, politicians have at least shown that drastic measures can be taken globally, regardless of economic interest, more or less quickly and with the necessary intensity and consequence. 

Why are there no similar actions taken in the climate crisis so far?

This should be our big takeaway for the future. Let’s treat the climate crisis with the same determination and the correct measures as the Corona crisis.


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