The adjective “collateral” need not always be paired with the noun “damage”. We can also sometimes experience collateral benefits. Ask Europe. A study suggests that a vast improvement in air quality over the past month, thanks to covid-induced lockdown measures, has led to 11,000 fewer deaths in the region caused by industrial and traffic emissions.
Closer home, the suspension of vehicular traffic and lockdown of industries have unveiled entirely new skies to people. In north India, snow-capped Himalayan heights have been sighted from cities that hadn’t seen anything of the sort for decades. Breathing is no longer the effort it used to be. Can we keep up this splendid run without compromising economic growth?
As countries prepare to exit crippling lockdowns, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged them to promote an economic recovery that also tackles the crisis of climate change. Governments can link financial aid to companies by their commitment to cut carbon emissions.