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COVID-19: A boon or bane for sustainability?

By Natalie Tham 
The global pandemic has drastically altered the ways in which we live and work.

In cities where lockdowns have taken place, trains and buses have stopped operating, industrial production has slowed or even halted, and individuals have curtailed unnecessary travel, confining themselves to their homes. The environmental impact of these changes has been felt almost instantaneously: Murky waters in Venice have become clear, NASA has reported that pollution levels over China and Northern Italy are the lowest it has seen in years, and in New York, one of the worst-hit US cities, scientists have reported a drop of 5-10% in carbon dioxide emissions. 

And as more governments shut their borders to tourists in an effort to minimise the spread of the virus, airlines worldwide have been forced to cancel hundreds of flights in a travel-hostile environment. As the economic upheaval is predicted to crush airlines and strain economies, the only silver lining appears to be that of the sha…

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