How the Pandemic is affecting CO2 Emissions?

The spreading virus has caused a slow down in global greenhouse emissions, mainly because of temporary slow down of industrial activities, failing demand of oil and decline in air travel.

Research shows that global disasters tend to drive a temporary decline in carbon emissions.

Forced global social distancing has brought people to stay at home, work remotely and travel less.

Scientists are still looking to understand the relationship between everyday human behaviors, their response to large-scale disasters and their carbon footprint.

The transportation sector is the biggest contributor to green house emissions.

As all public facilities, including work places close their doors, and people stay at home we use less transportation and drive less, which reduces any traffic and rush hour density globally.

Less vehicle traffic on its own seems to be already a good solution to climate change but there is a potential catch.

When people spend more time at home, they can potentially use more energy. It depends largely on weather conditions, geography and lifestyle.

Reports suggest a spike in online shopping and home deliveries, especially for groceries.

The carbon footprint of a shopping type heavily depends on distance where they come from, which makes it hard to judge weather physical shopping is better or worse than online and surely this ads to the complexity of the situation.

One sure thing is that carbon emissions are heavily dependent on our activity, especially when we live in urban settings.

And even though we have seen a decline of emissions in the past month, the level of emissions goes back up really quickly right after people start leaving homes.

There surely are lessons to learn from this, but at this point we can only question how long will they stick for.

I think that those who will permanently change their lifestyle, post Covid-19, will bring the most prominent changes.

People, who have now worked remotely and tasted a stay at home lifestyle, may decide to not go back to the type of work they carried out before.

I hope that we will see changes on larger scales. With cities hopefully adapting more carbon neutral solutions.

Before you go, make sure to connect with me and fellow architects in our Facebook group, Architecture Masterclass.



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Sara Kolata

Sara Kolata

Helping architect and design specialists, mentors, tutors, scholars and consultants transition into a digital world.