Environmental impact of the pandemic: what you believe and what it’s not.

Jan 06, 2021
Medio ambiente
  • In 2019, and for the third consecutive year, global GHG emissions increased again, reaching an all-time high. 
  • Covid-19 crisis has only triggered a short-term decline of CO2 global emissions and it won’t make a significant contribution to reduce the emissions for 2030 unless countries aspire to an economic recovery that includes a vigorous decarbonization. 
  • In 2020, the most remarkable and encouraging development on climate policy is that more countries are determined to achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century.

Although we might think that despite its terrible impact in all fronts, Covid-19 crisis has alleviated urgent environmental issues, a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report is not so optimistic. The recently released Emissions Gap Report 2020 ensures that, while CO2 emissions could fall by around 7% in 2020 (2%-12% range) compared to 2019 index due to Covid-19, GHG (greenhouse effect gases) atmosphere concentration continues to rise, and the immediate drop in emissions is expected to have almost no long-term effect on climate change.

The study, which reviews the discrepancy between predicted emission levels and the ones consistent with the Paris Agreement on limiting this century global warming well below 2°C, doing everything possible to slowing down by 1,5°C, is sharp ensuring that Covid-19 crisis has only triggered a short-term decrease of global emissions and will not make a significant contribution reducing emissions by 2030.

The report assures that, according to the four main public investment monitoring mechanisms related to Covid-19, few G20 members have gone from words to action when it comes to low carbon emission rescue and recovery measures to generate low GHG emissions. Having this in mind, the United Nations General Secretary has called on governments to make the Covid-19 recovery an opportunity to build more sustainable e inclusive societies.

The commitment

“It is essential that companies offer people the best options to help them reduce their emissions in a personal capacity”, says Milena Santos, Head of Strategic Marketing and Unitary Product Management at Daikin.

The air conditioning company announced on its 2020 Sustainability Report that it has achieved the reduction of more than 60 million tons of CO2 from greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the adoption of products that are respectful with the environment. In this report, Daikin sets out its position and approach to formulate and implement specific goals and measures to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, which is part of Daikin’s Environmental Vision for 2050.

It should be taken into consideration that, for instance, in developed countries air conditioning in buildings accounts for up to 50% of energy consumption, responsible of 28% of emissions. “97% of our residential air conditioning sales volume are products that respect the environment. We are convinced that to achieve significant progress on this issue, the will of everyone is needed, governments, companies like Daikin and individuals who should keep adopting new more sustainable habits, with an environmental conscious mindset” she added.

In many countries, confinement may be long enough to create new routines that will last if reinforced with longer-term measures. When planning Covid-19 pandemic recovery, authorities have the opportunity to encourage us to change our habits for others with less carbon emissions.

Access 2020 United Nations Environment Program Emissions Gap Report aquí

You can find more details on Daikin’s Sustainability Report aquí