China is one of the countries that suffer the most from pollution, mainly because it’s been the world’s top manufacturing hub. As industries and transport came to a halt during the pandemic, the drop in the emissions of nitrogen dioxide, a major pollutant, was even visible from space, according to a report on the website of the World Economic Forum.
Pollution and climate change have always been an issue around the world and it took us all to go into a lock-down to actually help our planet.
It is not the existence of humans that caused pollution, it is that human beings took earth and the needs of the environment for granted, Greta Thunberg, a climate activist, said at the United Nations climate action summit. “Entire ecosystems are collapsing,” she said. “We are at the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the death of more than 83,000 people, but one must not forget the death toll led by environmental factors. About seven million people die annually due to illnesses caused by air pollution, such as heart disease, strokes, and even cancer, according to a report by the World Health Organization. About 4.3 million air pollution-related deaths are due to household air pollution and 3.7 million deaths are due to outdoor air pollution, the report said.
The world has been trying for ages to help with climate change and the environment, whether it is through sustainable cities like Masdar in Abu Dhabi, recycling plastic and electric cars. But all this has obviously not been enough.
And, so what will happen once the lock-downs are over?
This is a wake-up call for us all to act.