Amid all the social and economic devastation it has wrought worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has also come with a silver lining. A study released mid-September by the United Nations Environment Program, "United in Science 2021 report," shows that confinement measures instituted by authorities to contain the pandemic caused a temporary reduction in carbon emissions.
For instance, emissions from coal, oil, gas and cement recorded an extraordinary drop of 5.6 percent in 2020, while emissions from road transport reduced by about six percent. However, these are small gains that cannot withstand the onslaught of the current trend in temperature rise. Moreover, notwithstanding its apparent environmental benefits, closing down economies is not the way to fight pollution and climate change.