This week, some countries are entering phase 2 of the fight against COVID-19. During the last period, individuals, companies, and nations have come together to fight the pandemic making enormous sacrifices. In particular, women have been on the frontline against the pandemic as they form 70% of the workforce in healthcare (WHO 2019).
Humanity demonstrated strong unity and cooperation that is setting the basis to face the next crisis.
Even after the end of COVID-19, this unity should help to face another enemy who is threatening humanity: climate crisis, which is causing more frequent and intense natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and is affecting and will continue to affect people’s lives.
What COVID-19 and Climate Change have in common
As we have recently seen, COVID-19 has had a strong systemic effect on human health and the economy worldwide. Meeting the Paris Agreements and limiting global warming well below 1.5°C will require tougher efforts and adaptation from all stakeholders. As seen, society is more responsive when immediate threats occur; however, fighting climate change will not be possible solely with this “emergency response” approach. Long term planning is needed to avoid drastic consequences on ecosystems, humans, and the economy.
Act to protect the most at risk
As proven with this pandemic, the most at risk need our attention. Because Covid19 is passed from human to human, lockdowns has been an efficient solution to slow down its spread. Today, we are staying home to protect the elderly; however, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable to climate change, there will be no simple solution. Once we reach the point of no return, limiting the threats of climate change will be difficult. This is why today we need to focus our efforts to mitigate climate change to avoid its consequences.
Everyone plays a key role
Staying at home directly impacts the spread and thus the severity of the virus. Every person contributes directly to halting the pandemic. The same degree of involvement is needed to fight climate change. Everyone plays a role, whether it be a single individual, a company or an entire industry, to close the decarbonization gap and reduce carbon emissions.
Need for radical change
Fighting COVID-19 requires radical changes to our daily routines. Similarly, limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires individuals and companies to completely change their practices. Changes in consumer behaviour, business operations, and political agendas will be needed for us to stop the rise of global greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
A universal war
COVID-19 does not regard any borders as it does not limit to one country or one region. Every country is struggling to fight against the spread and the deaths caused by this virus. Already, it has changed the lives of more than 1 billion people. Fighting this pandemic requires strong international collaboration between countries. Strong collaboration is also needed to halt global greenhouse gas emissions and limit temperature rise.
We can win the war
This pandemic hit the world by surprise, but climate models and scientific research predict that our planet will get significantly warmer and thus consequences of climate change will become more significant. What will we do to stop this before we are faced with a similar crisis? Acting now is crucial to prevent a major environmental crisis.
This health crisis has proven the power of unity. It has not been a war fought by armies, but by ordinary people, especially women.
After the end of this, we hope that unity will continue.
We will keep fighting for our close ones, for the next generations, for the most vulnerable, and for the planet.
Your ClimateSeed Team