COVID-19, environmental pollution, and climate change nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa

Peer Reviewed
8 January 2024

Ambrose Nnaemeka Omeje, Augustine Jideofor Mba, Divine N. Obodoechi, Ezebuilo R. Ukwueze, Chinasa E. Urama


The spread of coronavirus disease has globally affected all aspects of lives. Its impact on the environment and climate change in particular cannot be over-emphasized. Within a few months of trying to contain the spread of the disease, carbon dioxide emissions across the world decreased drastically to about one billion tons from the recorded 2019 industry and energy emissions of about 37 billion tons. Therefore, the present study utilized secondary high-frequency (quarterly) panel data generated among 40 sub-Saharan African countries and adopted the impulse response function of the panel vector autoregressive model to examine the response of environmental pollution and climate change to coronavirus pandemic. It was found that one standard innovation in environmental pollution and climate change produces significant positive effects on the pandemic. The implication of this result is that with a cumulative continuous rise in pandemic cases by one person, with a continuous observance of lockdown and other protocols, environmental pollution and unfavorable climate change would go down and/or improve by half in the next period. However, the impact of a shock on the pandemic today on future environmental pollution and unfavorable climate change decays or reverts to zero fast. The study therefore recommends that people and governments in SSA should strive to continue observing pandemic protocols and reduce environmental pollution.

Files and links

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Omeje, A. N., Mba, A. J., Obodoechi, D. N., Ukwueze, E. R., & Urama, C. E. (2023). COVID-19, Environmental Pollution, and Climate Change Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic, Environmental and Health Consequences of Conservation Capital, 241–258.
Publication | 8 January 2024