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Publication . Article . 2021

Positive environmental effects of the coronavirus 2020 episode: a review

Milad Mousazadeh; Biswaranjan Paital; Zohreh Naghdali; Zohreh Mortezania; Marjan Hashemi; Elnaz Karamati Niaragh; Mohammad Aghababaei; +5 Authors
Open Access
Published: 04 Feb 2021 Journal: Environment, Development and Sustainability (issn: 1387-585X, eissn: 1573-2975, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC

International audience; The outbreak of COVID-19 has made a global catastrophic situation that caused 1,039,406 deaths out of 35,347,404 infections, and it will also cause significant socio-economic losses with poverty increasing from 17.1 to 25.9%. Although the spreading rate of COVID-19 is very high on October 6, 2020, the death rate is still less than 2.94%. Nonetheless, this review article shows that the lockdown has induced numerous positive impacts on the environment and on energy consumption. For instance, the lockdown has decreased the electricity demand by 30% in Italy, India, Germany, and the USA, and by 12–20% in France, Germany, Spain, India, and the UK. Additionally, the expenditure of the fuel supply has been decreased by 4% in 2020 as compared to the previous years (2012–2019). In particular, The global demand for coal fuel has been reduced by 8% in March and April 2020 as compared to the same time in 2019. In terms of harmful emissions, the lockdowns reduced the emissions of nitrous oxides by 20–30% in China, Italy, France, Spain, and by 77.3% in São Paulo, Brazil. Similarly, the particulate matter level has been reduced from 5–15% in Western Europe, to 200% in New Delhi, India, which in turn has enhanced the air quality in a never-seen manner in recent times. In some places, such as New York, USA, CO2 emission was also reduced by 5–10%. The water quality, in several polluted areas, has also been remarkably enhanced, for example, the dissolved oxygen content in the Ganga River, India, has increased by about 80%. Traffic congestion has also been reduced worldwide, and in some areas, it has been reduced by 50%, such as New York and Los Angeles, USA. Overall, while the COVID-19 pandemic has shrinked the global economy by 13–32%, the pandemic has also clearly benefited to other sectors, which must be considered as the spotlight for the permanent revival of the global ecosystem.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Air pollution medicine.disease_cause medicine Water quality China Air quality index Pandemic Socioeconomics Geography Mortality rate Outbreak Poverty


Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Economics and Econometrics, Geography, Planning and Development, COVID-19 benefits, Environmental regeneration, Renewable energy, Air pollution, Surface water, Traffic congestion, [SDU.STU.GC]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences/Geochemistry, [SDE.BE]Environmental Sciences/Biodiversity and Ecology, [SDE.MCG]Environmental Sciences/Global Changes, [SDE.IE]Environmental Sciences/Environmental Engineering, [SDU.ENVI]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Continental interfaces, environment, [SDV.EE]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Ecology, environment, [SDV.EE.BIO]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Ecology, environment/Bioclimatology, [SHS.ENVIR]Humanities and Social Sciences/Environmental studies, [SDV.MP.VIR]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Microbiology and Parasitology/Virology, GE, S1, TA, Review