We are living in extraordinary times. To slow the spread of and ultimately eliminate the COVID-19 virus, governments are taking measures that are unprecedented in living memory. This has caused large parts of the global economy to grind to a near halt. But while this pandemic will pass, the climate crisis has not gone away. They share many similarities, but the scale of impact and danger to our long term well-being of climate crisis is far greater, albeit playing out over the longer timescale of years and decades instead of weeks and months.
The reduction in economic activity from the pandemic response will reduce greenhouse emissions, but depending on what we do next will determine if this is a temporary blip (as was the case with the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-09), or the beginning of a new downwards trend. Governments will spend up large to restart their economies, but will it be on all the same old things as before, making the climate crisis worsen, or in a new economy that is fit for the future? This may be our last chance to get onto an emissions pathway that steers us clear of truly catastrophic outcomes.
Low Carbon Kāpiti is a local campaign group that also contributes to nationwide and global efforts to address the climate crisis. We need to figure out where we can make the most difference in our pandemic response – and we want your ideas on how. Please complete the survey below before 27 April to share them. Many thanks!