The horrors caused by global warming have never been as serious as they are in the 21st Century, and show few signs of stopping. Ice caps melt, causing sea levels to rise, causing islands to face submersion underwater and so on. However, amidst the hugely impactful pandemic of Covid-19 assaulting the human world, the natural world is beginning to show indications of recovery. Like the mythological tale of Pandora's box, among countless evils and tragedies, there is still hope.


In a recent report, China was named as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide emissions, producing almost 10 billion metric tonnes in 2017, almost double its closest competitor, the USA with 5.3 billion metric tonnes. However, due to the crisis of Covid-19 reducing normal functionality of society and therefore interrupting energy demand, CO2 emissions in China were found to have diminished by 25% (according to an analysis by Carbon Brief). This reduction in CO2 entering our atmospheres would help to reduce air pollution, a huge issue, especially in China, and therefore possibly encourage more wildlife to thrive in the cleaner air. However, despite the seemingly drastic improvements, it isn't sustainable. Although we are seeing positive impacts, without actively finding new solutions to reduce CO2 emissions once the crisis has subsided, the new advances towards a healthier planet will struggle to be maintained.


Despite this only being temporary, the many heartwarming stories of nature returning to areas seemingly destroyed by urbanisation and tourism are a beacon of hope and possibility. Although many are later discovered to be false, such as dolphins returning to Venice, they are still motivation of what could happen if we further reduce our impact on the planet without being forced to by a pandemic.


Charlotte Brereton, Newstead Wood