Environmental and natural resource degradation in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic: a wake-up call – DocWire News

This article was originally published here
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Sep 14. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-16259-2. Online ahead of print.
ABSTRACT
The study’s objective is to examine the relationship between COVID-19 cases, environmental sustainability ratings, and mineral resource rents in a large cross section of 97 countries. The emergence of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) enlarges its magnitude across the international borders and damages social, economic, and environmental infrastructure with a high rate of human death tolls. The mineral resources are also devastated, which served as a primary raw input into the production system. The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environment and mineral resources are studied in a large panel of countries and found that mineral resource rents and population growth improve environmental sustainability rating (ESR). In contrast, an increase in coronavirus cases decreases the rating scale across countries. Further, mineral resources first decrease along with increased COVID-19 cases due to strict government policies, including the mandatory shutdown of economic institutions. Further, mineral resource rents increase later because of resuming economic activities in many parts of the world. The high rate of population growth is another important factor that negatively affects mineral resources across countries. Through impulse response and variance decomposition estimates, an exacerbated coronavirus cases and population growth would likely negatively affect ESR and mineral resources. In contrast, COVID-19 recovered cases will likely play a more significant role in securing mineral resources over time. Therefore, the global mineral resource conservation policies and improving ESR are highly needed during the COVID-19 to keep the significant economic gains in unprecedented times.
PMID:34519987 | DOI:10.1007/s11356-021-16259-2

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