Coronavirus pandemic was tough in 2020 and the next is climate crisis! Are we prepared?

By Asitha Jayawardena

2021 will be dawned in several days. As I remember, the first mention of the coronavirus was heard in February 2020.

For coronavirus, China was to blame in what happened in Wuhan in December 2019.

No one saw Covid-19 coming. With global warming, there’s a catastrophe of equal or greater magnitude on the horizon that we can still do something about.
Steven Desmyter, Man Group

Thereafter, the deadly pandemic began, with a lockdown in March 2020 in the UK.

Land-use change and deforestation are primary global drivers of biodiversity destruction. They heighten the risk of further pandemics by bringing humans into contact with new threats such as the coronavirus.
Andrew Norton, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Animal to human transmission is the key and how to avoid it?

According to scientists, 60 per cent of all infectious diseases in recent decades have been transmitted from animals to humans. This is due to the increased exploitation of hitherto undisturbed habitats and the resulting proximity to wild animals.
Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, Germany

Recovery from this pandemic in the first place came in and the message was clear: Do NOT harm the natural world.

There is an opportunity in the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis to create a new approach to growth that is a sustainable and resilient economy in closer harmony with the natural world.
Nicholas Stern, climate economist

While the coronavirus pandemic hit across the world, there were several ideas to how to adjust it: work at home, travel if you have to, and avoid flying.

This Covid-19 crisis is allowing us a glimpse of what a changed world looks like with far fewer cars and much cleaner air.
Claudia Adriazola-Steil, World Resources Institute

The unpopular fact of avoiding flying has to prevent climate change as well.

Unpopular fact: two of the worst things you can do for the climate – flying in planes and eating meat – are also two of the best ways to help generate and spread global pandemics. Maybe we should phase out both.

Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist

Coronavirus and climate change are considered together. But how do they look like?

Corona crisis is a 100-meter race and the climate crisis is a marathon. We have to run both at the same time.
Victor Galaz, Stockholm Resilience Centre SEI

But wait a minute! Can coronavirus create climate change? Or climate change generate coronavirus?

Coronavirus is not caused by climate change, but it wreaks the kind of disruption we might face in the future.
Henry Mance, Financial Times

What do the two crises – coronavirus and climate – reveal?

Both the coronavirus crisis and the climate crisis reveal that our world is inextricably interconnected, and it’s as strong or as fragile as those connections. We have to strengthen those connections. It is our only choice. The sun is going to rise again.
Mary Annaïse Heglar, climate justice writer

All over the world, governments are fighting the disease at the present and it’s not over. Suppose a vaccine is found and the crisis is over. When they are rebooting the economy, a possibility is the greener economy. About the Paris Agreement, this is what the COP26 is all about. It is scheduled in 1-12 November 2021.

Governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot their economies and bring a wave of new employment opportunities while accelerating the shift to a more resilient and cleaner energy future.
Dr Fatih Birol, IEA

Wait! Some people think that a low carbon lifestyle is a norm.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost everybody is living a low carbon lifestyle.
Lloyd Alter, Writer

People who will be walking, biking and taking public transport will survive this pandemic.

Cities that seize this moment to make it easier for people to walk, bike and take public transport will prosper after this pandemic and not simply recover from it.
Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates

There are many lessons we can learn from this pandemic and one of them is this.

One of the lessons learnt from this crisis is that we must change our ways. Scientists warn that to avoid future crises, we must drastically change our diets and move to plant-rich foods. For the sake of the animals, planet and the health of our children.
Jane Goodall, Primatologist

This is the main lesson and who says it – UN Secretary-General!

The main lesson of this year is that our societies are very fragile. We were not prepared for a pandemic, and we are not prepared for the climate crisis.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General

The coronavirus pandemic has just started in another variant in the UK. Over 50 countries have put travel restrictions with the UK but it has little effect in containing the new variant of the virus.

Let’s wish that 2021 will not be another of coronavirus or the new variant. After solving this pandemic, we have a long battle to focus on. Climate change.


Quotes on Climate & Covid-19



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