Has Covid given climate protection a boost?
The drop in environmental pollution during the lockdown is one of the positive side effects of the coronavirus crisis: airplanes were grounded, nitrogen oxide emissions decreased, and airlines have had to commit to ecological constraints in return for state aid. Commentators call for the insights gained from the crisis to be used to promote a lasting positive impact on climate protection.
State of emergency for the environment!
Politicians should take climate protection as seriously as dealing with the pandemic, Der Standard believes:
“The corona crisis came as a surprise. It hit hard and took a huge toll - and hopefully it will be over in a few years at the latest. It differs from the climate crisis: we've known about this for decades, we know what to do about it - and its consequences are potentially much more far-reaching and destructive than those of the Covid-19 pandemic. ... So it's time for politicians to show courage. Right now, while our country is still in a state of emergency. Now that the supposedly impossible has been done quite simply and dogmas such as zero deficit have long since been abandoned. ... The motto 'cost what it may' must also apply to climate protection.”
We can exercise restraint
The lessons we have learned in the Covid-19 era give us a unique opportunity to permanently improve the quality of life, the Times of Malta points out:
“The conversations taking place in other European countries, including the benefits of a four-day working week and environmental policies that restrict vehicle use and promote urban greening, are only just percolating to the surface of Malta’s priorities. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are capable of restraining our need to shop excessively, to travel at a whim and to take for granted the shared spaces that we inhabit with vulnerable members of society. ... Following the crisis, Malta must not let the opportunity for deep-rooted change slip out of reach.”