Governments must not forget to invest in climate change mitigation, Judith Rodin, President Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania urges.
Even if nations are busy managing the coronavirus pandemic, governments must also prioritize investments that help fight climate change, according to Rodin.
“We should use all the money that’s being poured into the economic recovery from Covid, which is an extraordinary crisis and an extraordinary challenge,” Rodin said during her interview with CNBC.
“We want governments to be paying attention to them, but we want them to make the investments in ways that can benefit sustainability and natural resources,” she said.
Rodin cited the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report as she explained how climate change and the depletion of natural resources will affect the world’s financial wealth.
“All of the things that really do influence our health and human safety, and I think the mantra should be that we have to save the planet to save ourselves — including from future pandemics,” said Rodin.
A new study published on Nature Climate Change revealed that half of world’s beaches at risk due to climate change.
“What we find is that by the end of the century around half of the beaches in the world will experience erosion that is more than 100 meters,” said Michalis Vousdoukas, the study’s lead author. “It’s likely that they will be lost.”
For example, in Gambia and Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, 60% of their beaches could disappear.
A similar prediction is in place for Iraq, Pakistan, the island of Jersey in the English Channel and the Pacific island of Palau.
Moreover, Rodin said that social bonds could help remove pressure from governments.
“These are strategies that engage the private markets and the public markets in ways that produce financial outcomes and at the same time take some pressure off governments to create the kinds of policies and the kinds of financing that give the public market’s confidence in investing in the recovery,” she noted.
She also stressed the importance of everyone’s role in addressing climate change.
“Climate change is here and it’s real and we must, we absolutely must address it, not only with government action but with leadership, with demonstrating to the general public that everybody has a role in preventing further climate change and in all of the other positive actions,” said Rodin.
The link between Covid-19 and climate change
In his article “How our responses to climate change and the coronavirus are linked,” Arthur Wyns emphasized how health shocks always target the poorest and the most vulnerable sector of the society.
“Well-resourced, equitable health systems with a strong and supported health workforce are essential to protect us from health security threats, including climate change. The austerity measures that have strained many national health systems over the past decade will have to be reversed if economies and societies are to be resilient and prosperous in an age of change,” wrote Wyns, a climate change researcher of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The financial and social support packages to maintain and eventually resuscitate the global economy post-pandemic should therefore promote health, equity, and environmental protection,” he said.