Tags: China | Climate Change | Coronavirus | liberals | china | coronavirus | pollution

Liberals See Good from Coronavirus: Less Pollution

the empty streets but clean air in wuhan china

An aerial photo taken on March 10, 2020 shows an empty street in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.(STR/AFP via Getty Images

By    |   Tuesday, 17 March 2020 08:04 PM

The lockdown in China's Hubei province to stop the spread of coronavirus may have had an unintended benefit by returning clear, blue skies to the region, climate activists say.

According to China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the province's "good quality air days" went up by 21% in February compared to the same period of last year, reports CNN.

 Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency also show nitrogen dioxide emissions have drastically dropped in major Chinese cities in January and February. 

Further, the toxic gas cloud over industrial powerhouses has almost disappeared, and Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said he has never seen such a dramatic drop-off. 

However, he said he wasn't surprised after many cities were locked down to minimize the coronavirus spread. 

Carbon dioxide emissions, caused by burning fossil fuels like coal, also have dropped by at least 25% because of the measures taken to control coronavirus, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, which researches air pollution. 

The drop is equivalent to 200 million tons of carbon dioxide, or more than half of what is output annually in the United Kingdom, and that is significant, said CREA lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta. 

President Xi Jinping in 2017 promised to battle pollution, and his policies have had a significant impact, but activists say the coronavirus crisis may ramp up the reforms. 

"We would very much advocate for China to foster this opportunity to transform its economy, to break apart from the old," said Li Shuo, a senior climate policy adviser for Greenpeace East Asia.

The pollution may rebound once the coronavirus threat passes, Li said, because China will push to restart its economy. Further, a round of economic stimulus measures may allow cheap credits for some of the country's heavy industries.

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The lockdown in China's Hubei province to stop the spread of coronavirus may have had an unintended benefit by returning clear, blue skies to the region, climate activists say.According to China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the province's "good quality air days"...
liberals, china, coronavirus, pollution
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2020-04-17
Tuesday, 17 March 2020 08:04 PM
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