What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• Evidence shows that lockdowns due to coronavirus are the reason for fewer carbon emissions and improved air quality, proving that behavior change can contribute to addressing climate change.
• How can we learn from this pandemic about how to deal with climate change? What are key lessons?
• Learn why the public doesn't treat climate change like an infectious disease.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across cities, causing closures and suspensions of services, climate experts say it could sport a silver lining of reduced carbon emissions and in turn lead to a more sustainable economy.
The impacts of the coronavirus on emissions, air quality and other environmental factors may be hard to definitively quantify, but there are already some lessons to learn from countries like China, which saw improved air quality and lowered emissions following quarantines and lock downs.
With a major economic stimulus package likely to come soon from Congress, some see it as the perfect chance to make infrastructure greener and more resilient — though the balance of competing priorities during a fiscally challenging time may present a challenge.
China saw an estimated 25% drop in carbon dioxide emissions nationwide in the two weeks following the Chinese New Year, compared with the same two-week period in 2019, according to Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
Meanwhile, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) satellites saw "significant decreases" in nitrogen dioxide over the country, with the agencies suggesting the change "is at least partly related to the economic slowdown following the outbreak of coronavirus."
Some see those emissions reductions as an example of what could occur in cities — albeit under extreme circumstances — if humans can change their habits to support a more sustainable future.
Read the full article about climate change efforts by Chris Teale at Smart Cities Dive.