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The Environmental Impact of COVID-19

In these unprecedented times we are seeing major changes to society, industry, politics and, in a more positive way, the environment. As we stay inside to flatten the curve, the environment is enjoying its first lull in human impact of this size. Fossil fuel consumption has plummeted helping us out “at the pump” and the cease of non-essential industry has reduced pollution on a massive scale virtually overnight.

The positive effects on air quality are being felt around the world as once smog ridden areas are clear like they haven’t been in a long time. Big polluters like China are seeing massive reduction in carbon dioxide emission with an estimated reduction of over 200 million tons year over year. For the first time in years the remarkable Himalaya mountains are popping through, the Los Angeles Skyline is clear from the Valley, and the Eiffel tower can now be seen throughout Paris. This was all in just the first month of quarantine efforts! Things continue to improve as Nitrogen and Carbon levels decrease, especially in metropolitan areas, who’s to say how much progress we can make!

Chinese nitrogen levels one month into quarantine efforts

Chinese nitrogen levels one month into quarantine efforts

Another plus for the environment is that NASA has taken this opportunity to fund four separate studies aiming to identify the true impact the of the stay-at-home order. NASA will attempt to show what more conservative levels of consumption and pollution can do for our environment. It’s expected that NASA’s findings will be used to shape environmental, transportation, and industrial policies for years to come.

Mother Nature has also been reacting quickly, re-surging across the globe as wild animals take back land and enjoy a bit of stress relief. The number of dangers that have been reduced are numerous and species of all kinds are reaping the benefits.

There is some concern that when restrictions are lifted the efforts to make up for lost time will increase output and even outweigh any improvements made. But we must use what we’ve learned to make the positive impact we now know we can have.

CFR has been helping companies navigate the maze of environmental rules for over 25 years. Contact us today to find out how we can help you maintain emissions closer to stay-at-home levels.

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