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Synergies Between COVID-19 and Climate Change Impacts and Responses

Pelling, Mark; Kerr, Rachel Bezner; Biesbroek, Robert; Caretta, Martina Angela; Cissé, Guéladio; Costello, Mark John; Ebi, Kristie L; ... Woodward, Alistair; + view all (2021) Synergies Between COVID-19 and Climate Change Impacts and Responses. Journal of Extreme Events , 8 (3) , Article 2131002. 10.1142/s2345737621310023. Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and anthropogenic climate change are global crises. We show how strongly these crises are connected, including the underlying societal inequities and problems of poverty, substandard housing, and infrastructure including clean water supplies. The origins of all these crises are related to modern consumptive industrialisation, including burning of fossil fuels, increasing human population density, and replacement of natural with human dominated ecosystems. Because business as usual is unsustainable on all three fronts, transformative responses are needed. We review the literature on risk management interventions, implications for COVID-19, for climate change risk and for equity associated with biodiversity, water and WaSH, health systems, food systems, urbanization and governance. This paper details the considerable evidence base of observed synergies between actions to reduce pandemic and climate change risks while enhancing social justice and biodiversity conservation. It also highlights constraints imposed by governance that can impede deployment of synergistic solutions. In contrast to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governance systems have procrastinated on addressing climate change and biodiversity loss as these are interconnected chronic crises. It is now time to address all three to avoid a multiplication of future crises across health, food, water, nature, and climate systems.

Type: Article
Title: Synergies Between COVID-19 and Climate Change Impacts and Responses
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1142/s2345737621310023
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1142/s2345737621310023
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Climate adaptation, COVID-19 pandemic, sustainable development, biodiversity loss, co-benefits, urban systems
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10171120
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