The Benefits of Coronavirus to the Planet

The Benefits of Coronavirus to the Planet

The Benefits of Coronavirus to the Planet
Image Credits: The Motley Fool

In contrast to all the chaos and misery, we have found a beneficiary of the Coronavirus, the Earth.

The world is ablaze with Coronavirus and everybody is scared because many people have fallen to this global pandemic. Businesses have been closed, streets are deserted, and people are adopting social distancing faster than ever.

In contrast to all the suffering, coronavirus is also causing some benefits to the health of our planet. This doesn’t mean that COVID-19 being rampant in the world is a good thing. Instead, it is just a different perspective that might help us to improve as a species. The following are some benefits of coronavirus to the Earth.  


The satellite pictures of the last 2 months show a dramatic decrease in NO2 emissions in major Chinese urban areas. These images were released by NASA and the ESA. This harmful gas is discharged by vehicles, power plants, and industrial facilities. The obvious haze of poisonous gas hanging over industrial powerhouses has nearly vanished. Fei Liu, an Air Quality Researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, talked about that in the following words:

“This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event. I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimize the spread of the virus.”

Image Credits: NPR

According to CREA, CO2 emissions were down by at least 25% (in February). The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air mentioned that all of this was done to contain COVID-19. Similarly, the deadly virus has forced us to change our ways of living on a massive scale.

All the steps like video conferences, working from home, or shorter work time can have a positive effect on the climate. Companies are also seeing this as an opportunity through product localization to protect their supply chains from unwarranted risks.

Therefore, it is beyond doubt that the biggest share of emissions saved in China comes from the slowdown in manufacturing. That’s something few politicians would advocate as official policy beyond an immediate crisis that can be beneficial for the Earth.

Coal Consumption

A reduced oil and steel production and a 70% decrease in local flights added to the fall in worldwide emissions. In any case, the greatest driver for the decline in coal consumption was the sharp decrease in China’s coal utilization.

China is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of coal, utilizing this asset for 59% of its energy needs. In addition to power plants and other heavy industries, coal is the sole heat source for many rural areas.

In comparison to last year, coal-terminated force stations saw a 36% drop in utilization from February 3 to March 1. CREA revealed that this measure has played a massive role in reducing the country’s greenhouse emissions. All these steps are ultimately contributing to the well-being of our planet.


People are staying home and flying less. That’s good for the planet. Dr. Nicholas, an author of a 2018 study that examined actions people take to fight climate change, said,

“For average Americans, the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions is driving. Anything that reduces driving, including working from home, has a big impact on our climate pollution.”

Similarly, avoiding air travel may also have a large effect on reducing pollution. For example, one round-trip flight from New York to London produces quite a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. According to an estimate, it cancels out the climate impact of nearly eight years of recycling.

Dr. Christopher M. Jones, the Lead Developer at the CoolClimate Network, has a different opinion about this topic. He believes that the effects of pollution will greatly depend on the area of living. He mentioned that roughly 25% of Americans live in suburbs and rural areas. If they don’t travel, it can have an impact on the climate due to less driving.

On the other hand, 50% of people live in urban areas and most of them use mass commute. Even if the majority of people avoid traveling, it won’t have a massive impact on emissions. Dr. Jones, a train-traveler himself, explained that the train is running despite him or anyone else traveling in it. Therefore, there are not many chances of any influence in urban areas.


While global deaths are reaching 8,000, COVID-19 still appears far less deadly than all the fossil fuels we burn. Scientists have already warned that warmer and wetter conditions are increasing the probability of such outbreaks.

Economists are warning of a possible recession in Chinese trading partners, Germany and Japan. Similarly, global growth is predicted to be slow and oil demand is falling rapidly. In fact, the decrease in oil consumption is faster than at any time since the 2008 financial crash.

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