The global crisis has shocked the world causing more than 2 million deaths globally. The potential threat and the contagious nature of the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to implement worldwide lockdowns to stop the spread of this novel virus. As the virus and death rates continue to rise, along with the restrictions, economic activity is curtailed, governments resort to extraordinary measures where individuals and corporations scramble to adjust. Today, everyone is highly focused on countering this new and extreme threat, and blunting the force of the major recession.
Amid the chaos of the Covid-19, it is natural to forget that Global warming and Climate change is an even greater and more complex global challenge. While we focus on the virus, it’s hard to think about a problem like climate change right now. However, in just a few decades, the climate change crisis can be predicted to become worse than the pandemic.
It’s in human nature to naturally only worry about meeting the most immediate needs during a disaster. But we should also keep in mind that the dramatically higher temperatures may seem like tomorrow’s problem but the only way to avoid the worst possible climate outcomes is to accelerate our efforts now.
In this article, let’s learn the lessons from the coronavirus that helps us address climate change if we add greater economic and environmental resiliency core to our planning for the recovery ahead.
Although climate change and Covid-19 are two very different challenges, they do have some key things in common. During the outbreak of the global pandemic, the global community has shown us that the crisis can be addressed by working together as governments, businesses, and individuals taking measures and changing behaviors in response. When they faced the unprecedented social conditions imposed due to the pandemic, people stepped up embraced the new working arrangements and personal hardships, reminding us that the human capacity for resilience is extraordinary.
As climate change continues to advance, it is clear that we will only come through this by working together and by showing resilience. When people work together, even the smallest of small personal actions, when put together, can make a big difference in overcoming major challenges.
Gentle Reminder: The Planet will not Wait
Scientists have been warning us about the risk of the viral pandemic and climate change for far too long now. Presently, the current rate of global greenhouse gas emissions is a 1.5˚C target, but it is heading towards a 3-4˚C rise in temperature instead. In addition, the cost has been tremendous and emissions are projected to be 7% lower in 2020 than in 2019.
Together, we need to set bold and ambitious targets to drive change the planet needs. Learning from the crisis, there is an opportunity to combine a safe recovery with a sustainable recovery. The global community is leading the way by proposing a green recovery plan by digitalization to boost jobs and growth, secure the resilience of societies, and put the health of the environment first.
Digital is Everywhere
Digital transformation is trending even before the pandemic hit the globe. As the result of the pandemic, digital transformation is happening at hyperspeed. Overnight, many companies were forced to go digital or shut down completely and the crisis has massively disrupted industries and sectors. Everything is becoming digital and all the events are virtual including education to children. The pandemic has exposed the need for cloud-based solutions and the trend is here to stay.
Building a Sustainable Future
Health professionals had predicted years that a pandemic was virtually inevitable. Unfortunately, the world did not prepare enough for the crisis and now, we are trying to make up for the lost time. Luckily, like the previous disasters on the planet Earth, humans will win over this pandemic over time. The pandemic is a cautionary tale for climate change points us towards a better approach. With the power of science and innovation, we need to ensure that the solutions work even for the poorest; we can avoid making the same mistake with climate change.