By, Public Source,
Climate change, air pollution, oil prices and waste could be transformed by the pandemic.
“COVID-19 cost jobs, closed businesses and limited travel. But the economic ruin has also led to record low levels of pollution and huge reductions in climate change emissions globally.
Some of the changes, such as remote work, could have lasting benefits for the environment, even after the economy restarts. Other changes, such as a decrease in the use of mass transportation, could make environmental problems worse.
PublicSource examined four environmental issues — climate change, air pollution, oil prices, and waste — that could be transformed by COVID-19 in the Pittsburgh region. ”
“Grant Ervin, the chief resilience officer for the City of Pittsburgh, said one of the biggest local opportunities is to make people’s homes more energy efficient. Since people are staying home more, their energy bills are going up, he said. That means investments in heating and cooling systems that use less energy, for example, will save people money over time and reduce climate emissions.
The City of Pittsburgh is joining a “demand response” program that Ervin said will allow the city to get paid for reducing its energy use. For example, he said, on a really hot or a really cold day, the city could tell some workers at the City-County Building to work from home, and the city would be paid for the reduced energy demand. The city is going to buy 100% green energy next year, Ervin said, although not all of it will be local.”
Photo credits: Public Source.