This pandemic is a human tragedy and a tsunami that strikes the global economy: it forces factories to close, communities to be isolated, global travel to be interrupted and exchanges to be curtailed. These disruptions must undoubtedly lead to a drop in greenhouse gas emissions, which should not be surprising, given the current and expected decline in the level of global and national activity in the short term.
When recovery comes, policies to stimulate the economy through investment packages, especially in infrastructure, that persist in carbon-intensive options and increase pollution should be avoided. A significant case is to avoid increasing air pollution, which already causes more than 5 million global premature deaths.
If the coronavirus leaves some lessons, at least two are critical: the importance of international cooperation and the value of everybody being able to breathe fresh air.