What COVID-19 Can Teach Us About Mitigating Climate Change

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, climate change—a crisis that can cause even greater destruction—looms. All crises teach us lessons, but the pandemic has gone further: it has reminded us about the power of nature. A recent Ipsos poll conducted globally for the IMF found that 43 percent of people surveyed reported being more worried about climate change now than they were before the pandemic, with only 7 percent saying they are less worried. The heightened public awareness about the dangers of unmitigated climate change make this an important moment for policymakers to enact bold reforms. But many challenges lie ahead.

First, let’s note some of the similarities between COVID-19 and climate change. Human behavior is central to both crises. SARS-COV2 spreads between people directly, requiring social distancing for containment. Climate change is mostly caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activity, requiring us to use less and cleaner energy.

Both crises are global and economically devastating, and both are likely to disproportionately impact the poor and deepen existing inequalities. The pandemic put millions out of work, which could leave long-lasting scars on economies. Similarly, unchecked climate change is expected to cause substantial economic damage, disproportionately hurting the poor and potentially triggering large-scale migration.

Both crises require global solutions. The COVID-19 crisis will not be resolved until all countries bring the pandemic under control through widespread vaccination, and the climate crisis will not be solved until all emitters swing into action, bringing global emissions to net zero.

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Πηγή: blogs.imf.org

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