Ports reveal unprecedented surge in harmful emissions; officials blame COVID-19 logjam
From the Port of New York and New Jersey, to the busy cargo port of Hamburg—once the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world—and back to Asia, experts are predicting a near-future of climate change disaster. “Climate change is the fastest growing risk to human civilization,” wrote NASA’s James Hansen. “We are in the midst of an environmental emergency.” This week, a new report revealed a stark increase in harmful greenhouse gasses caused by a devastating outbreak of the virus COVID-19.
That means that the entire planet is now the largest greenhouse gas emitter by far.
As news broke about China’s growing COVID-19 cases, an unprecedented spike of COVID-19 cases is causing a major disruption to global trade. According to the New York Times, the United States is now “almost completely closed to all international trade as countries scramble to stop the virus from spreading.” As the New York Times put it, “Many ports will be operating under extreme financial stress.”
The Wall Street Journal was quick to point out that the COVID-19 outbreak is set to “severely damage global commerce of all kinds,” adding: “The effects on the global economy are already being felt. In Asia, China is expected to cancel all of its major air travel; Europe is also likely to have difficulty selling its goods.”
The New York Times also reported that, in a desperate attempt to try to stop the disease taking hold in China, the country’s health ministry has already suspended all Chinese travel to Europe, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It’s reported that the quarantine orders from Beijing will likely be extended to other Asian countries in the coming days.
The world’s major ports are also struggling to cope with the growing number of flights and vessels that are flying into and out of Chinese airports, but the news is also pointing to a major surge in the emissions caused by shipping activities, as the world’s largest shipping companies are working to cut down on global emissions.
“If we don’t cut emissions immediately, we are in deep