What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the Environment in 2040?
Imagine yourself as a scientist in 2040, what are the expectations and fears that will remain after the COVID-19 pandemic? This is the backdrop that the prestigious Science magazine draw and invited young researchers to reflect on the impact and the post-pandemic scenario, in a special supplement, launched in the July issue: "News from a postpandemic world".
Isabel Marín Beltrán is a CCMAR researcher and was one of the scientists invited by Science, to talk about the scenario she hopes to find in the Environment. The researcher highlights that the overexploitation of natural resources, CO2 emissions and plastic waste will continue to increase.
According to the scenario outlined by the researcher, the pandemic will only exacerbate the negative trend that had been accentuated until 2020, writes in her reflection for Science.
The researcher was as surprised as happy, when she was contacted by the magazine. This initiative is seen as something original and the end results in a very interesting reflection for young researchers from different areas, such as society, health, education and other, in the post-Covid-19 era.
Isabel Marín says her comment is controversial since it points out that pollution and socio-economical inequality are a direct consequence of the short-term vision of corporations and policy-makers. However, it reflects her personal believe and she is very happy to have been able to raise her voice through Science.
This article empowers young researchers by expressing their opinion in what concerns to global problems, refers Isabel Marín. “It is specially important when addressing topics that entail a long-term vision, like this one proposed by Science. We, current young researchers, will be the ones who will need to deal with environmental and social issues in the coming decades. Hence, we need to be prepared, and heard”, concludes.
Next week, the United Nations will meet to assess whether the goals of the 2040 Agenda for Sustainable Development have been achieved. Unfortunately, reasons for optimism are scarce. Overexploitation of natural resources, CO2 emissions, and plastic waste continue to soar. The wealthiest sector of the population consumes 80% of the resources, and the poorest people increasingly suffer from extreme weather events, famines, and freshwater scarcity. We were already heading in this direction early in the century, when the short-term vision of corporations and policy-makers prioritized economic benefits over human and environmental health. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the negative trends. Since 2020, an array of wasteful practices increased, including the proliferation of single-use products and travel in private vehicles to avoid physical contact. After reviewing the past decade, the UN countries will discuss commitments to decrease inequality and pollution by 2050.”
Isabel Marín Beltrán, Science, July 2020