Coronavirus & Climate Change

Posted by Nick King on

Where will we be in six months, a year, 10 years from now?  How different will the world around us be?  These are questions I keep asking myself while I lie in bed at night thinking about what kind of future my children will have.  

We live in a time where both coronavirus and climate change is effecting every person on the planet.  No one can escape it.  There are those who claim the virus is not real or that climate change is just a natural phenomenon (largely the same people). Yet the truth of it is they are both here and everyone is impacted by them. 

Doctor sitting on floor

There are a number of possible futures, all dependent on how governments and society respond to coronavirus, climate change and its economic aftermath.  Are we headed for a dystopian future of Mad Max or Waterworld?  I don't think so.

Do governments realise that to solve a global problem you need a global solution? Unfortunately not all of them  The USA's federal policy of pushing fossil fuels and undoing much of the good work the Obama administration is an example of where nationalistic agenda's are dominating politics at the moment.


Will the coronavirus force society to change, to have a positive impact on the environment?  The International Energy Agency has forecast the CO2 impact of the coronavirus crisis, suggesting emissions could fall by 8% this year.  This is great but even this level of reduction would not come close to bringing the 1.5C global temperature limit within reach.

This kind of reduction in CO2 would need to be repeated every year for the next decade for there to be any chance.  But it's a start.  

Ice melting

Many climate researchers are optimistic that this deadly pandemic has taught governments some critical lessons that they can apply to the problem of rising temperatures.  The big challenge is to ensure the recovery has a green focus.  

The pandemic has had a big impact on something that is foundational to addressing climate change — our values. Life under coronavirus has forced everyone to take action to protect each other’s health, and to realise that distant threats are worth preparing for.

When we do recover from the Coronavirus and can start to live 'normally' again we have to ensure we don't go back to the old normal.  That world is gone and we need to ensure that the future we build is green and sustainable for all.

We have to use the Coronavirus experience to shape a better future.  If we dont then we are all if for a very uncertain future.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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