Human consumption of natural resources dropped sharply in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, British daily The Guardian reported Friday, citing a new study. 

Virus-induced measures like lockdowns led to a 9.3% decline in the ecological footprint of humanity this year, compared with the same period in 2019, according to a study by Global Footprint Network, an international research organization.

Despite the fall in use, however, researchers warned that there is still a need to cut consumption, as the world would need the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to keep consuming natural resources at the current rate.

“This year it was particularly tricky because we wanted to give an indication of how Covid-19 affected 2020 results,” said David Lin, who led the research team.

He also pointed to a huge drop in carbon emissions, down 14.5% from the previous year. Commercial forestry is also down by 8.4%, The Guardian reported.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, environmental groups and activists have repeatedly warned that if necessary measures are not taken to keep air pollutants, for example, at safe levels, the current positive progress will likely not last long.

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The pandemic has killed nearly 800,000 people worldwide, with over 22.7 million confirmed cases and over 14.5 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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