messner1_Aleksander KalkaNurPhoto via Getty Images_climatechangeprotestsign Aleksander Kalka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The World Must Not Forget Climate Change

The COVID-19 pandemic underlines the fact that we are all in this together: no country is immune from major global threats. And the same solidarity between countries and peoples is needed to address the even greater risk of climate change.

DESSAU-ROßLAU – If the current coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our interconnected, globalized economies and societies are highly vulnerable to sudden shocks.

The COVID-19 outbreak, and the horrendous scale of its impact, was an unforeseeable “black swan” event. Right now, the imperative is to fast-track packages and policies that help to fight the health crisis, protect the vulnerable, and pave the way to restarting our economies once the pandemic is past its peak. That also will be the moment for governments, scientists, and the public to pause, take stock of lessons learned, and introduce plans to make societies more resilient and better able to cope with possible future pandemics.

But we risk ignoring a far greater challenge to civilization, namely climate change. And that is decidedly not a “black swan” issue, given that the scientific early-warning bells have been ringing – increasingly loudly – for years.

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