Earth Day: Pandemic stark reminder of the vulnerability of humans –UNEP

Published April 22, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Gabriela Baron

The coronavirus pandemic is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of humans and the planet in the face of global scale threats, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said.

“While the coronavirus has been spreading around the world and dominating news headlines, thoughts and attention, the need to take climate action has remained as urgent as ever,” UNEP said in a statement.

According to the UN agency, global CO2 emissions need to have dropped by 7.6 percent by the end of 2020 and continue to fall by 7.6 percent each year for the world to have keep global heating under 1.5oC.

“The pandemic is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of humans and the planet in the face of global scale threats. Unchecked damage to our environment must be addressed,” UNEP added.

At the time of writing, there are over 2.5 million cases of coronavirus and 171,850 deaths worldwide.

The pandemic has also forced industries to reduce output and families to shelter in place.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration revealed that less anthropogenic activity has reduced levels of atmospheric (NO2) over China and other regions of the planet.

Carbon emissions have also declined according to Carbon Brief.

UNEP said that the risks faced by ignoring the threats of environmental destruction must be understood and addressed with protections and policies.

“As the world rushes to plan for a post-pandemic recovery, UNEP and other parts of the United Nations system see this as opportunity to call attention to the need to ‘build back better’,” it added.

“April 22 is a timely reminder to embrace the opportunities of the natural world for green jobs, sustainable economic stimulus, for urgently taking action to protect ourselves against unsurvivable global heating and for securing healthy, dignified futures.”

April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual global celebration in support of environmental protection.