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Journal number 1 ∘ Mamuka Khuskivadze
Ecological Results of the COVID-19 Pandemic

DOI:  10.36172/EKONOMISTI.2021.XVII.01.Khuskivadze

Expanded Summary

For more than a year now, the world has been living in a state of Pandemic and the economic crisis caused by it. There are economic and ecological results of the Pandemic. The economic results are obviously unequivocally negative, while environmental ones are heterogeneous. Coronomic crisis has clearly improved the composition of the air at the expense of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful substances, but at the same time has slowed down and delayed implementation of various ecological projects. In the research we have highlighted ecological aspect of economic crisis. We analyzed the ecological outcomes of Covid-19 pandemic and suggested activities to maintain a positive trend in the world and Georgia.

Key words: Coronavirus Pandemic, Ecological Results, Greenhouse GasEmission, Environment Components, Climate Change.

The worldwide spread of the Covid-19 virus from China caused a new economic crisis. That is atypical in nature (Papava.V.2020) As the genesis of the Corona virus is related not to the economics, but to the medical field (unlike the typical crisis. Therefore, it is not necessary to study and analyze the causes of the Coronomic crisis. The consequences are visible in social, financial, economic and ecological spheres. However if the results in the economic aspect are unequivocally negative, in the ecological context the situation has improved according to various indicators. Though compared pre-crisis ecological situation with the current data, can be assessed as non-ecological.

In a certain period of time Mankind will be able to overcome and end the Pandemic and, consequently, Coronomic crisis through joint efforts and achievements in the field of medicine. Post-crisis measures will be taken in the countries and we will live in a new world. There is no clear answer to the question whether a positive environmental situation will be maintained or not, obviously, it will depend on the country’s adequate inclusion in the system of ecology, economic and political priorities and the implementation of effective environmental policies.

Data on various indicators of the ecological condition during the pandemic confirm improvements of the quality of environmental cleanliness. There is a positive impact of the Pandemic on the environment. It should be noted that, historically all existing pandemics have had positive impacts on the environment.

Due to the permanent declining of the ecological situation  and the emergence of global ecological problems in recent decades, especially in developed countries environmental activity  has become more and more widespread, though in terms of emission, biodiversity conservation, high achievement of cleanliness of environmental components were not obtained. Consequently, the need for ecological re-start in the world remains on the agenda. It should be noted, that in this context the Pandemic has brought more benefits than the environmental efforts and activism of recent years.

The economic crisis can not have only positive environmental effects, since it has a heterogenous  impact on it and therefore has both positive and negative consequences. Any crisis usually provides new opportunities in a variety of directions, including environmental  aspect . Thus, the following negative  environmental  aspect of economic crisis can be distinguished:  1. During the economic crisis, the governments of the countries, actively take anti-crisis measures which require significant budget expenditures and often lead to deficits. As practice shows, the first-tier victim is the cost of financing environmental projects; 2. During the economic crisis there is a decrease in investment in the economic sector, which hinders the introduction of innovative resource-saving technologies; 3. In a crisis, the environmental responsibilities of firms, companies and organizations are naturally less, which is reflected in the reduction of environmental costs on their part; 4. In the perfect functioning of the market mechanism , prices, mainly, for fuel-energy resources(oil, natural gas, coal) fall which limits the use of renewable energy sources and investments in this field;

 As for the opportunities created by the crisis in term of overcoming environmental problems, it is mainly manifested in the following:

  1. Total or partial closure of certain enterprises leads to a reduction in the release of harmful substances into the environment and improve the cleanliness of environmental component;
  2. Aggregate demand decreases, which in turn leads to a decline in production capacity and creates a favorable moment for the technological upgrading in order to increase energy and resource efficiency.

Due to the irreversible spread of the Pandemic worldwide large-scale restrictions and bans have been introduced by states in order to protect human life and health leading a dramatic improvement of the environment and as a result improves the purity of its components.

Improvements in air quality are observed on all continents and are confirmed by statistics from various sources. The irreversible deterioration in recent decades and the socio-economic consequences caused by it, have instilled in the society the feeling of impossibility of ecological recovery. Ecological achievements which are not obtained as a result of systemic ecological transformations and although are mainly related to the decline in economic activity, may inspire eco-optimism in the population and develop a sense of ecology. Economic crises have a heterogeneous impact and the coronomic crisis is no exception. It does not have only a positive impact on environmental policy, which is mainly manifested in reducing the scale development of renewable energy sources and combating global warming. According to the assessment of the International Energy Agency, the new global economic crisis caused by the Pandemic, threatens the implementation of high-budget investment projects, including delaying hundreds of billion dollar investment in alternative energy. The effective fight against climate change is largerely linked to the development of clean energy.

There is no clear answer to how long the Pandemic will last and when the Pandemic shock will end. Its removal depends not on economic measures taken by the governments, but on the scale and aggressiveness of the virus (Abesadze, 2020). The key to end the coronomic crisis is  in the hands of doctors and in their medical findings and not in the views and regulations of economists.

Currently  the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants is limited and the anthropogenic impact on the environment is reduced. It can be said that different kinds of ecological achievements  are not made consciously. They are of a forced nature. Actions taken to improve the state of the environmental is of short-term  in nature  and will not have a long-term effect as they are not the result of systematic transformation . Only systemic and complex measures in the field of ecology can achieve fundamental ecological change and ensure mobility. Long-term transformations in the field of climate change, the most acute global environmental problems of modern times, can be achieved through balanced and coordinated management and regulation activities at all levels and not with a temporary, special anti-pandemic policy. International experience shows that r the process of accelerated recovery of the economics after the end of the crisis, causes a worsening of the ecological situation again and leveling of positive environmental outcomes. States will begin to implement post-crisis ambitious interventions to activate economic processes. In order to maintain the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions observed during the Pandemic countries need to take comprehensive, anti-emission and anti-climate change policies.

In this regard, the first tasks are: choosing a low-carbon development vector; determining the targeted rate of greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economics and achieving it in the appropriate period of time. Improve the legal framework and mechanism, stimulate the introduction of innovative green technologies, accelerate the absorption of alternative energy sources.

The spread of the Pandemic forced the Georgian government to introduce various bans and restrictions to combat it. Like other countries in the world, Georgia has a close correlation between the economic decrease and the reduction of emissions, as evidenced by relevant statistics. Improving the ecological situation in Georgia, reducing air have mainly been caused by the restriction of the functioning of the transport sector. The concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the air has decreased, which is essentially caused by the vehicle fumes.  Coronomic crisis in Georgia is still going on, the exact date of its end is not seen. However, the issue of maintaining the improved ecological situation in Post-Covid economics, is urgent both in the world and in our country. In order to solve this problem, we consider it expedient and it is necessary to take the following measures: 1. Implementation of “Green” post-crisis economic stimulus package. 2. Improving transport policy and apologizing  the functioning of the transport sector, 3.  Optimization  and monitoring of the implementation of norms and regulations of ecological standards in construction, industrial and other polluting sectors, 4. Fulfillment of obligation under the Association  Agreement and various conventions, 5. Enhancing international environmental integration and cooperation, 6. Introduction of ecological expertise, ecological audit, ecological insurance, ecological certification and other tools of nature management in the process of implementation of ecological policy, 7. Introduce a grant system to activate research in the field of eco-innovations and widely use new financial instruments(soft loans, tax incentives etc) to stimulate eco-innovation in general, 8. Stimulate environmentally-friendly products, 9. Improve the environmental legal framework and develop environmental programs, concept and strategies (Sustainable Development Concept, Environmental Security Strategy, Environmental Development Strategy, Environmental Doctrine) e.tc.