Covid-19 effect on climate change

On December 2019, The World Health Organisation was notified of a breakout of coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, China.  Since then, the world has drastically changed, flights are grounded, the hospitality industry shut down and factories closed. All this has caused the global carbon-dioxide emissions to fall to levels not seen since 2006.

Before the pandemic, scientists expected there to be little to no change in emissions during 2020/21.  However, on April 7th 2020 global CO₂ emissions were 17% lower compared to the same time last year.

An optimistic view of the decrease of CO₂ emissions would be “it’s possible to reduce emissions. That’s just not the way that we want to do it” said Glen Peters, research director of the Centre for International Climate Research in Oslo.

However, a more realistic view, assuming a return to pre-pandemic levels of employment by 2035, a study has found that COVID-19 produces a steep 8.2% reduction in global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, but this will drop to just 2% reduction in 2035.

In the long term, the COVID-19 pandemic has left us all with a lesson and chance for environmental action.  We now have a baseline of what can be achieved digitally: remote work, education, shopping, and lack of travel.  Thanks to the outbreak, some habits that are incidentally beneficial to the environment may last, since people will have experienced scarcity- for example, the reduction of travel, personal consumption, and food waste.

At Value Match we are an carbon net zero organisation, we offset all the carbon produce as a business.  One of our core values is the Environment and we believe in enhancing our environment through the way we operate, championing environmental best practices and delivery through our service lines.  Discover how we embed our values here.