A man wearing a face mask walks past an advertisement billboard showing the city's commercial district under a clear blue sky in Beijing. | Bloomberg
A man wearing a face mask walks past an advertisement billboard showing the city's commercial district under a clear blue sky in Beijing | Bloomberg
Text Size:

Portland: Covid-19 has killed more than 300,000 people worldwide and shuttered vast swaths of the global economy. Despite diminished industrial activity, air travel and automobile traffic, however, the pandemic continues to have mixed effects on the overall health of the planet.

America is expected to generate more electricity from renewable sources than coal this year, for the first time ever, according to new projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

It’s a remarkable achievement. Coal produced almost half of that nation’s electricity as recently as a decade ago, and the Trump administration has done everything possible to prop up the dying industry, even going so far as to continue regulatory rollbacks amid a pandemic in which respiratory disease is a key gateway to death.

Bloomberg Opinion’s Editorial Board recently warned that Trump’s actions will lead to tens of thousands of additional and avoidable fatalities. Nine states on Wednesday sued the administration for allegedly abdicating its responsibility to enforce U.S. environmental laws during the crisis. They challenged his recent plan to relax enforcement due to worker shortages and travel restrictions stemming from the outbreak, which has already killed 85,000 Americans, more than any nation by far.

China, on the other hand, is spending billions of dollars to shift away from its reliance on coal, the filthiest of fossil fuels. Some of the nation’s largest state-owned companies are investing heavily in massive hybrid projects that combine wind, solar and storage to provide constant energy to the grid, even when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

There is more bad news from America. Almost 600,000 clean-energy workers have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, more than double the number of positions created in the sector since 2017. That’s almost 18% of the of the U.S. industry’s workforce.

The recent drop in air pollution could also weirdly hurt California’s climate fight. Lower greenhouse gas emissions mean there’s less revenue coming in from the state’s cap-and-trade system, the proceeds of which are used to fund green initiatives such as high-speed rail and wildfire prevention.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


In Europe, though, the news is better. Some nations are moving to capitalize on the recent drop in emissions: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the global aviation industry needs to limit carbon-dioxide emissions once air travel resumes in earnest.

“Inadvertently, this year the planet will greatly reduce its CO2 emissions,” Johnson observed in Parliament Wednesday. “We need to entrench those gains. I don’t want to see us going back to an era of the same kind of emissions as we’ve had in the past.”

As European Union member states consider a draft version of their Green Deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political allies are encouraging other countries to take on a bigger share of the burden.

Despite this progress, humanity must nevertheless pay for the mistakes it’s already made. Climate scientists have previously warned that a lethal combination of heat and humidity would someday make currently inhabited parts of the planet uninhabitable for months at a time in the decades to come.

New research has discovered that future is now. – Bloomberg

Also read: India’s carbon emissions fell in 2019-20 – the first time in 4 decades


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here