What does Covid-19 mean for Climate Change?
By Paddy Loughman, for Rubies In The Rubble
The simplest answer is: we don’t know yet, so we need to be very careful about how we consider the question.
Rushing to conclusions runs the risk of triggering division, and undermining or stalling vital efforts. At the same time however we do need to think carefully about what comes next, and make choices and plans to build back better, together. This, crucially, means a recovery that fully acknowledges the climate and ecological setting in which this pandemic is taking place.
Below are a few pieces to kickstart your thinking and planning:
Careful talk saves lives:
Framing Covid-19: Talking about what comes next (FrameWorks Institute)
Part six of a series looking at how to frame Covid-19, to “help us all amplify the values of justice, inclusion, and interdependence.” They offer three tips: “show that you’re responding to this moment, not taking advantage of it”; “show that bold, collective action is the only response that makes sense”; and “help people see this time as a moment when change is possible, necessary, and desirable.”
The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial (Grist)
The same forces that spread climate denial are hard at work making sure certain interests aren’t too disturbed by this pandemic. The resulting confusion and failure to act reveals the urgent need for the climate reality to be depoliticized, especially in the US. Stay vigilant with comms, make sure you don’t gaslight (or get gaslit).
A new act for climate:
Why the COVID-19 Response Is No Model for Climate Action (The Breakthrough Institute)
A wary look at comparisons between Covid and climate, wondering “whether people around the world might actually be less, not more, eager to entertain the idea of sweeping and intrusive responses to climate change thanks to ongoing events.”
Five Lessons From Coronavirus That Will Help Us Tackle Climate Change (Time)
Christiana Figueres, Paris Agreement architect and author of ‘The Future We Choose’, encourages us to recognise that: “Global challenges have no national borders”; “As a society, we’re only as safe as our most vulnerable people”; “Global challenges require systemic changes”; “Prevention is better than cure”; and “All our response measures need to be based on science”.
Building back better:
Addressing Climate Change In The Post-pandemic World (McKinsey)
McKinsey ventures a careful comparison between pandemic and climate risk to offer some recovery advice. They suggest “all actors – individuals, companies, governments, and civil society – will have an important role to play” in the recovery, offering two priorities for business: “seize the moment to decarbonise” and “take a systematic through-the-cycle approach to building resilience”. Their insistence that we use this moment to raise awareness on climate should be read alongside the framing guidance above.
The Pandemic is a Portal (Financial Times)
Arundhati Roy’s startling depiction of India’s response to Covid-19 is a wake-up call to us all, and adds a tragic urgency to her insistence that we take this moment to rethink: “Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.” A sentiment people here might agree with.
Looking for more? This is an evolving resource with some great links.
I wish us all the very best of luck! 🙏💚
Paddy Loughman for Rubies in the Rubble