COVID19 and sustainability?

05/02/2021

How did the pandemic change our view on Sustainability?

A coronavirus pandemic was a major concern, but it has not made people less concerned about climate change, suggests a new study conducted in the UK. 

Experts spoke of the worst pandemics the world has seen in centuries, and many people took a positive view of the global tragedy. Indeed, the event acted as a major natural experiment to simulate what will happen in the future when governments make the far-reaching policy changes we need to avert dangerous climate change. 

The COVID 19 pandemic was initially good for the environment: wildlife recovered a little while mankind stayed at home (see sources below: 1, 3, 9, 14)
But perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic could have become a model for what is going on behind the scenes in the post-war period - pandemics of the future, not just climate change. Forget more insights from the New McKinsey blog about why sustainability must be at the heart of post-pandemic recovery and more about the role of sustainability in climate policy. (see sources below: 5, 11)

Yerby Fellow Dr. Renee Salas discusses the health challenges of climate change and the challenges of responding to disasters in the midst of a pandemic. Climate change and health and how they are damaging our health today: a review of the scientific evidence for and against the role of sustainability in climate policy. (see sources below:15)

Socially, the pandemic in the 1960s caused a major labor-market shock, which, if it continues, will increase. Zenker and Kock (2020) mention the people, social, economic and ecological contexts affected by COVID-19 and pandemics. (see sources below: 10, 23)

Amid all these distortions, it is easy to forget that the debate on the socio-economic impact of climate change, which has led to calls for a global moratorium on fossil fuels and an end to fossil fuel subsidies, only gained momentum a few months ago. Many sustainability experts believe that ending the business of doing business on the global front is an opportunity to rethink our commitment to climate change. (see sources below: 2, 22)

As leaders, it is also our responsibility to assess how pandemics and their global recovery will affect future sustainable development. As we work to respond and recover from the shock of a pandemic, the SDGs must be embedded in the DNA of global recovery, "UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner explains why they are more important than ever in the era of COVID-19. Looking to the future, global food systems must become more local, sustainable and equitable. We are learning profound lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, which will help businesses to move forward in a more sustainable way. (see sources below: 6, 7, 20, 21)

While many companies will certainly focus on saving themselves, the pandemic has taught us many things about how to deal with practices that are bad for the environment. One of the most important lessons of the coronavirus pandemics of recent years has been the need to better understand and accept our relationship with nature. (see sources below: 13, 20)

On the one hand, the fact that concerns about climate change cannot be suppressed is good news for climate protection. One day we can look back on the 2020 pandemic as a terrible and tragic crisis that triggered a movement for a sustainable and resilient future. While reviving government action against pandemics offers a way forward in the fight against climate change, we can only hope that good leaders will bring the best of these leaders to us. (see sources below: 9, 12, 19)
Although scientists have been warning of the dangers of pandemics for years, we were surprised by COVID-19 - on our guard. Indeed, it could be argued that a pandemic is part of climate change, and that response to a pandemic should not be limited to containing the spread of the virus. It is simple, but we must start to address it now: if we call for a response like the one to the COVID 19 pandemic, it should be as effective as the one to climate change. (see sources below: 4, 8)

One important lesson we can learn from pandemics is to think more strategically about future predictable crises. This could make the possibility of a catastrophic future seem less remote and make measures to prevent it more likely. It is useful to consider why a COVID-19 pandemic can change people's sense of place so fundamentally. (see sources below: 12, 17, 18)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution promises to change the world for the better, and after a pandemic, we are in a unique position to advance digitalization. We have experienced global change first-hand, and we have adapted to the reality of a global pandemic that means "staying at home." Can we imagine a world in which we want to acknowledge the scientific evidence that prevents the worst effects of disease and climate change? Pandemics have given us an insight into the upheavals that will come if we do not address climate change. (see sources below: 0, 20, 24)

Although air pollution has fallen dramatically in some countries, there are still mountains of medical waste and chemicals going down the drain that will affect the entire environment. The environmental improvements observed by researchers will not last if the world returns to its pre-pandemic path. 

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