Environmental Science and Sustainability
Coronavirus-Lockdown: A Lesson for Combating Climate Change?
As of April 2020, there has been a decrease in pollution levels around the globe. The global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced governments around the world to declare lockdowns for their citizens amidst fear of spreading the highly contagious disease. The lockdown has meant the closure of automobile, electronics, and textile factories. Oil refineries have also been forced to reduce output due to a shift to working from home (telework) that reduced demand for petroleum. The purpose of this study is to investigate how telework, as a social and structural shift taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be a pathway to help mitigate the environmental crisis. The research questions are the following: 1) How is the lockdown affecting pollution levels? 2) How is telework benefiting the natural environment and society and what are the drawbacks? 3) What are the long-term implications of telework? To answer these questions, earth science literature, recent publications on pollution data, as well as news articles covering the pandemic were reviewed. This article contributes to the field of environmental pollution mitigation by building a bridge between the shift to telework during the global health crisis and the need to alleviate global warming/climate change.