Climate Change Activism in the Time of COVID-19 is hosting a series of virtual Youth Summits on Climate Change. Youth reporters Puseletso and Linda attended one on International Climate Day on the 30th of June. Tune in to discover what they learnt from the experience.



Some of the most dramatic drops in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission ever recorded, have happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many countries observed lockdown restrictions. But even though emissions have dropped, CO2 is still going into the atmosphere and it will still accumulate there, just as it has since humans started burning vast amounts of fossil fuels. The biggest change in activity has been in aviation, which dropped by an average of 75% by early April 2020. But planes only make up about 3% of the CO2 emissions problem. The other huge change was in transport such as cars and trucks, where daily activity went down an average of 50%. That change translated into a big effect on emissions, because driving also makes up a big part of CO2-waste. But 45% of the world’s CO2 waste generally comes from making heat and power. And during the COVID-19 crisis, people have needed those as much as ever. Even though we can enjoy the temporary reduction of emissions, a pandemic is the worst possible way to achieve these results, as the spread of the virus causes its own version of suffering for humanity. There is still a need for efforts to make technological, behavioral and structural change in order to experience a sustainable reduction in emissions.

Source: National Geographic

Photo: Jo Jackson
(Climate Strike, Cape
Town, March 15th, 2019)