Coronavirus quarantine shows climate change 'is solvable', Extinction Rebellion says

A woman wearing protective face masks on Oxford Street, central London. On Thursday evening, an older patient, reported to be a woman in her 70s, became the first person in the UK to die after being diagnosed.
A woman wearing protective face masks on Oxford Street. (PA Images)

Drastic measures taken to stem the coronavirus outbreak demonstrate that climate change can be tackled, Extinction Rebellion has said.

The environmental group pointed to a media report on how pollution has dropped in China as attempts to stop the virus spreading led to factories being shut down.

According to the report by the Independent, NASA said the drop in pollution was at least partly down to the economic slowdown brought on by efforts to contain coronavirus.

“Closing industrial plants and asking people to stop at home has led to sharp drops in the burning of fossil fuels — a key cause of the climate crisis — in the world’s largest greenhouse gas producer,” the report states.

Protesters during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) march through Piccadilly Circus to Parliament Square in London.
Protesters during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) march through Piccadilly Circus to Parliament Square in London. (PA Images)

Reacting on its Facebook page, Extinction Rebellion wrote: “Proof that the climate and ecological emergency is solvable and that the solution has nothing to do with population.

“It’s more about consumption. It’s more about a not fit for purpose economy. It’s more about how we organize as a society and decide how we want to live.

“We can withdraw our consent from this ecocidal, oppressive and destructive system, and decide to live in a different way. All together. Another world is possible.”

The outbreak of the virus has had a large impact on economies across the world, with stock markets tumbling in response to the outbreak and companies losing money.

A survey of American beer drinkers found that 38% would not buy a Corona beer thanks to the virus outbreak. The two are not related.

The Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney said the bank is ready to take “all necessary steps to support the UK economy and financial system” through “an economic shock that could prove large but will ultimately be temporary”.

Extinction Rebellion has been stepping up its public activities again in recent months, with activists digging up a Cambridge University college lawn and protesters dressed as bees targeting politicians during the general election campaign last year.

The group staged a series of demonstrations in London last year, but not every act of disruption won around the public, with activists who held up a tube train by standing on top of it being hauled off by angry commuters.

More than 80,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in mainland China, while more than 100,000 have been declared globally.