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18 Aug 2020, 14:16
Alex Dziadosz

Covid-19 offers lessons for climate policy - report

Clean Energy Wire

The Covid-19 pandemic can offer insights into how to cope with the climate change crisis in terms of risk management and policy reaction, a Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) study says. The pandemic illustrated that a combination of government action and individual lifestyle changes can effectively limit damages from crises like the coronavirus outbreak, co-author Sabine Gabrysch says in a press release. Keeping “reaction time” to a minimum can help avert public health crises, and the principle could be applied to climate change policy, the authors write. PIK director and co-author Johan Rockström pointed out that New Zealand and Germany were able to both effectively predict the outbreak’s effects and take immediate action. “In the same vein, the global community must integrate climate risks assessments into decision making and act accordingly.” The researchers propose a “climate corona contract”, in which younger people agree to protect older people from coronavirus through social distancing while older generations push for stronger climate change measures.

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