Covid and Climate Change

Meeting Climate Challenges Amid the Covid Pandemic

The rapid worldwide spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 wreaked havoc on long-term social and economic development by leaving millions sick and inundated healthcare systems that were already buckling under the cumulative toll of every previous surge.  The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact which has been made worse with air pollution has reminded us of the need for positive change to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fulfill the environmental agenda.[2]

“Discussions have confirmed that climate change and COVID-19 are closely related and that the climate crisis represents a bigger and more enduring challenge,” 

explained Professor Mark T. Dooris, Professor of Health and Sustainability and Co-Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Settings Unit at the University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom) who co-authored a report showing how policy-makers can ensure that recovery from COVID-19 leads to healthier and more sustainable societies.[3]

Drawing on the engage, assess, align, accelerate, and account (E4As) approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[4], the report explores the implications of this transformative change, focusing particularly on the role of the health sector. The paper concludes that recovery from COVID-19 requires commitment and courage from leaders and policy-makers to ensure that efforts to recover will protect the health of both people and planet.[5]

Another report by the World Bank and the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) titled, COVID-19 and Climate-Smart Health Care: Health Sector Opportunities for Synergistic Response to the COVID-19 and Climate Crises, provides a framework based on lessons from the global COVID-19 health response to help countries build climate-smart universal health coverage (UHC) systems to ensure that all people have access to the health care they need without suffering financial hardship.

“This report serves as a roadmap for our response to both health and climate crises,”

“Addressing these issues will not only improve health outcomes but also enhance the resilience of communities to future climate-related challenges.”

said Mafalda Duarte, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Investment Funds.

The pandemic demonstrated the growing health impacts of climate change and the deficiencies in health emergency preparedness.  Bearing the brunt of the health impacts of climate change-induced covid pandemic have been the elderly, people with pre-existing health conditions, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and poor people who do not have access to health.

“While the ongoing COVID-19 crisis presents significant global health challenges, the pandemic also presents opportunities to build resilient climate-smart health systems against future shocks,”

said Juan Pablo Uribe, Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank.

Their report details a few examples from around the world where  climate-smart health systems were implemented:

  • In India, a climate-resilient, solar powered COVID-19 facility for testing, isolation, and treatment was built to provide better insulation, natural lighting, 24/7 power to improve healthcare quality;
  • In Yemen, strengthening disease surveillance to combat COVID-19 has helped reduce climate impacts by using the country’s Electronic Integrated Disease Early Warning System (eIDEWS);
  • In The Gambia, moving from incineration to more sustainable microwave healthcare waste technologies in response to COVID-19 has reduced the carbon footprint of the sector;
  • In Colombia, more sustainable procurement policies made it easier to respond to COVID-19;
  • In Ghana, building a sustainable vaccine cold chain has enabled an effective response to the pandemic while still honoring commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement.

The TIIKM 6th International Climate Change Conference will virtually take place from February 17-18, 2022 with a theme of meeting climate challenges amid the covid pandemic.   At this conference, I will exhibit my Art in the Time of Corona 7 – Recovery Roses art show that contains a portrait of Dr. Ugur Sahin, the German-Turkish co-founder of COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech.[6] 

Art in the Time of Corona 7 – Recovery Roses by Selva Ozelli

Reinforcing the idea that people shouldn’t live in constant fear of the virus, Dr. Ugur Sahin, highlighted that despite the virus being here to stay for a couple more years, the COVID-19 variants are becoming controllable and that BioNTech is keeping its eye on new variants and new strains.

Pin Me:

Pin Image Portrait Meeting Climate Challenges Amid the Covid Pandemic

Selva Ozelli Esq, CPA is a legal and finance executive with diversified experience dealing with highly complex issues in the field of international taxation and related matters within the banking, securities, Fintech, alternative and traditional investment funds. Her first of its kind legal analyses involving tax laws, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), blockchain technology, solar technology and the environment and have been published in journals, books and by the OECD. Her writings have been translated into 15 languages.

Selva Ozelli Recovery Roses
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