In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many misleading facts have led many to believe that the climate crisis has been solved. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We cannot ignore how our destruction of the environment has caused the pandemic nor how the pandemic has affected our environment. Through our food and agricultural systems, CO2 Emissions, waste production, and deforestation, COIVD-19 and Climate Change have an intricate and intertwined relationship with each other. Unfortunately, environmental activism has experienced an extreme halt as COVID-19 controls over the world. Instead, the focus was shifted from the immediate Climate Crisis to the even more immediate pandemic. In order for future success, we must focus on recovering from the pandemic economically, socially, and politically by embedding environmentally friendly policies into the new relic packages and laws in place.




The Effects of Air Quality on Associated Rick of Covid-19

% Increase in Risk of Death or Severy Symptoms

Air pollution increases the risk of dying from COVID or developing severe symptoms by 15%. Minority groups are more likely to live in areas with bad air quality, causing them to be 15% more likely to develop severe symptoms or die from COVID.

The Post-Pandemic Environmental Effects on Air quality

The graph to the right illustrates one of the most immediate environmental effects of the pandemic seen: a positive change in air quality. Select cities saw a huge decrease in their Nitrogen Dioxide levels due to less pollution, but these are likely temporary effects.


The figure to the left notes the decrease in coal consumption in China along with the decrease in economic activity at the beginning of the pandemic. However coal use is likely to rebound with a higher rate of use than before as countries try to recover from the fiscal pause caused by the pandemic. 

% Decrease in Coal Use as of Mid June
Predicted % Increase in Fossil Fuel Use by 2040

The Effects of the Pandemic on Fossil Fuel Use 

The demand for coal is down by 8% and oil down by 5%. Because of this, the greenhouse gas emissions are down as well. Experts predict a 2-7% decrease by the end of the year. Although these numbers sound promising, these changes are not enough to make a difference in the long term. Current policies will lead to a demand increase of about 30-40% by 2040, and that may not even be the peak. Although the oil and coal markets are taking a hit now, they will likely rebound with the economy in the next few years.