22 Jul Post pandemic requires global unification to tackle climate change
Environmentalists and climate groups alike have indicated that the global response to the pandemic clearly shows what nations can achieve when working together. Prior to the pandemic, many countries were placing more emphasis on climate change and placing more priority on working towards a stronger and unified plan of action.
The impact of the outbreak has however resulted in a number of challenges worldwide. The governments of nations in Africa for example are facing a number of challenges ranging from the potential spread of the pandemic and managing the economic and social impacts of Covid-19. The last few months have been a real test of resilience and while health remains the top priority, it is important to remember that the other significant challenge facing our world is the climate crisis. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the widespread impacts of the pandemic, the climate crisis has been put on hold despite the rising impact on climate change on our health, economies and scientific evidence suggesting that we are reaching a climate emergency.
Scientists have made stark warnings that the impacts of climate change could happen much earlier if action isn’t taken soon. Climate experts are urging governments to maintain a similar level of focus and allocate enough resources to climate as is currently being devoted to Covid-19. Climate analysts believe our response to Covid-19 needs to be closely aligned with the Paris Agreement and be capable of incorporating and reducing the likelihood of recurring pandemics, for climate mitigation, sustainable development and the preservation of biodiversity.
The UN Summit in Glasgow which is rescheduled for next year will be the last major milestone before the implementation of the Paris Agreement in 2021 and nations will have to agree on the new rulings of COP26 and their plans for climate action. Countries are revising and working on creating a strategy before COP26. The implications of Covid-19 have, however, made it more challenging and difficult to maintain momentum on climate action. Virtual consultations have enabled groups to strengthen their climate action plans and enhance their climate adaptation efforts.
Environmental leaders highlight that the real impact of the pandemic on climate change will really depend on the plans and choices we make now in how we intend to recover. Meeting the targets and goals set in the Paris Agreement mitigation and adaptation are essential in reducing the likelihood of pandemics in the years to come.
The synergy between nations and other groups will only strengthen and improve the potential of implementing and creating an integrated response capable of building climate and pandemic resilience worldwide. This year represents a crucial time for aligning recovery plans with the goals created in the Paris Agreement and maintaining momentum.
Developing nations are calling on developed countries to show clear decisive action towards implementing and closing the gap of reducing emissions through climate finance for climate action this year. The African Group is urging governments to meet their obligations of climate finance and support a clearer and more ambitious strategy for vulnerable nations.
In 2015, countries agreed to a bold climate treaty to address the climate emergency within the Paris Agreement. The Covid-19 pandemic is a clear reminder that fighting something of this scale requires collaboration. We are experiencing a stronger need for cooperation, a clear strategy and ways of working together. The world needs to take lessons from this period and utilise this approach for climate action in order to recover and be more resilient for the future.