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27 March 2020

How the COVID-19 crisis offers lessons for dealing with the climate crisis

The unprecedented pandemic that has changed our daily lives, our work and the entire economy from one day to another is, and will remain, the number one priority for policymakers and social partners in the foreseeable future. Everything needs to be done now to slow down the exponential spread of the virus and empower our healthcare systems to cope with the health emergency. At the same time, urgent measures are needed to fend off the damage caused by the shutdown of the economy and to protect workers in this extraordinary situation.

But beyond these two priorities, we also need to already start thinking about the world after the Covid-19, or ‘Corona’, crisis. The ongoing climate emergency must not be forgotten, and a return to ‘business as usual’ would be a mistake. Few of the governments and organisations (including the European Parliament) that declared climate emergencies in 2019 and 2020 have so far enacted policies in this area with anything like the scale and speed of action with which they have acted to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This is understandable, but it is important that responses to the immediate urgency also take the longer-term emergency into account. There is some sad symbolism to the fact that the Feria de Madrid buildings that hosted the COP25 Climate Summit last December were turned into an emergency hospital... read more on our medium page

written by Bela Galgoczi,senior researcher at the ETUI

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