Staunton, April 16 – Environmentalists everywhere have been pleased by declines in air and water pollution as a result of the pandemic-driven economic slowdown -- but less because of these results which are likely to end when the slowdown does than because they prove that governments could take effective actions to clean up the environment, Pavel Vyshebaba says.
In many places, the Ukrainian environmentalist says, there has been a sharp decline in pollution of air and water and people are benefitting from that even if they are living under the threat of infection (apostrophe.ua/article/society/2020-04-16/eyforiya-dlya-okrujayuschey-sredyi-kakie-ekologicheskie-posledstviya-prineset-korona-krizis/32261).
But it is too early to break out the champagne, Vyshebaba says, because environmentalists know that unless there are fundamental changes in government policies about economic activity, pollution levels will go right back to where they were before the pandemic arose. Indeed, the loosening of rules in countries like the US may make them even worse.
What environmentalists should welcome and be focusing on, the Ukrainian activist argues, is that the speed with which the pandemic-driven slowdown led to ecological improvements proves that what they have been saying all along is true: concerted action to limit pollution works and can have immediate and dramatic consequences.