Brighton Peace and Environment Centre’s Wilkie Briggs looks at how the Coronavirus lock-down may be positively affecting the environment

How has lock-down impacted the environment?

A third of the world’s population is currently under lock-down. Countless schools and higher education have closed, along with non-essential offices, and places of worship. Countries across the world have already started closing their borders as global travel has all but come to a standstill.

At first glance, one may be cautious of comparing coronavirus with climate change but they have been inevitably linked. There is an immediacy to coronavirus: it is a new and immediate crisis, while climate change has been developing over centuries, and feels like a much slower threat.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) publish a daily situation report outlining the exact number of deaths worldwide and in each country, whereas deaths related to climate change are harder to measure. In 2018, the UN gave a stark warning that we are only 12 years away from an irreversible climate catastrophe. This time scale, though not as immediate as the current coronavirus pandemic, is still shockingly close.

More worryingly, since the announcement, we are yet to see any effective action from governments following the advice of climate experts. Although there is a surprising link between the emergencies of climate and virus.
An unexpected side effect of the crisis lock-down is a decrease in air pollution as everyone stays home. It would be naive to think that this is a solution, especially as people across the globe suffer. But while this is no more an environmentalist’s dream than it is anyone else’s, it does beg the question: how do we want to rebuild the world once we come out of this nightmare? After all, the climate does need urgent action.

Brighton Peace and Environment Centre is a community education charity. It delivers projects which teach and tackle issues of peace and the environment, inspiring action through learning about the world. Find out more at

Words by Wilkie Briggs

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.