Fall in Pollution Inspires a Search for Sustainable Post-Pandemic Solutions

Groups in São Paulo and other cities call for environmental benefits in isolation to be prioritized in public policies

São Paulo

In the year "Earth stopped," World Environment Day will be celebrated this Friday in a world with cleaner air and quieter cities, less global warming, and more appearances of animals circulating close to human habitats.

Satellite images and city residents attest to lower levels of pollution during the quarantine adopted worldwide to combat the coronavirus. In the past two months, they have started to share on social media photos of a clearer sky, testimonies about the lighter air and quieter neighborhoods.

Rio de Janeiro (Foto: Ellan Lustosa/Código 19/Folhapress) - Código 19

According to the WHO World Health Organization, air pollution is linked to the death of about 7 million people a year, and can also aggravate respiratory crises caused by the coronavirus.

Living in a city with less pollution has inspired social movements that are looking for ways to maintain the environmental benefit after the quarantine period.

As the pandemic does not inhibit deforestation in the country, the cycle of deforestation and burning in the Amazon should also contribute to the increase in carbon emissions in Brazil, which this year should grow by 10% to 20% in relation to emissions in 2018, according to estimate by the Climate Observatory.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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