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Humans can use what they learned from COVID-19 to help climate change after the coronavirus pandemic.
Climate change and COVID-19 are two very different challenges, but they do have some key things in common. Both are global; they do not respect national boundaries, and both require countries to work together to find solutions. In order to have a better planet, humans should start helping with the issue of climate change after the pandemic of COVID-19.
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COVID-19 and climate change have some commons that humans can learn lessons from, and apply them to other cases. Both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic require us to listen to experts, to unite behind the science, and not play politics with people’s lives. This means responding to the challenge at the appropriate scale and treating a crisis like a crisis with the urgency that’s needed. UNICEF has created a toolkit for young people to raise awareness and take action against COVID-19. Many of these lessons and guidance can also be applied to climate change, such as helping to combat misinformation online. We can all play a part in spreading accurate facts and science, countering the misinformation that puts lives at risk. Children and young people everywhere should keep learning from the past pandemic experience and apply the solutions to problems like climate change in the future.
There is no evidence of a direct connection between climate change and the emergence or transmission of COVID-19 disease. As the disease is now well established in the human population, efforts should focus on reducing transmission and treating patients. Climate change may indirectly affect the COVID-19 response, as it undermines environmental determinants of health, and places additional stress on health systems. More generally, most emerging infectious diseases, and almost all recent pandemics, originate in wildlife, and there is evidence that increasing human pressure on the natural environment may drive disease emergence. We should be able to reduce the risks of future outbreaks of new diseases by strengthening our health systems. We should improve our surveillance of infectious disease in wildlife, livestock, and humans, and protect biodiversity and the natural environment. This will help to prevent future pandemics and make the world a better place.