The novel coronavirus is likely to become a “new normal,” a new standard of social economy that changes with the times, rather than a “black swan” an unexpected extreme situation that breaks existing experiences and brings huge repercussions to the economy and society. The novel coronavirus has a broad sense of association with the climate crisis. Both are consequences of reckless human activity. Excessive use of fossil fuels, forest destruction, and ecosystem disturbance, which are factors of climate change, threaten the health of mankind promoting the outbreak and spread of new viruses. The emergence of a new disease or virus may be a type of warning that nature sends to humans.
In order to prevent the spread of Covid 19, governments have implemented strong controls such as movement restrictions and lock-downs, and citizens have adapted quickly by changing their living patterns. As human economic activity slowed overall, reversely, the atmosphere and water quality became cleaner and improved the ecosystem recovery. Globally, greenhouse gas emissions have also decreased in 2020. However, these effects are temporary and cannot necessarily be determined to have a positive impact on the environment. Studies have also shown that temperatures have risen temporarily since the blockade of new coronavirus.
Despite warnings from scientists that the climate crisis is moving faster than expected and the Earth is nearing an irreparable critical point, each country’s greenhouse gas reduction targets are far short of preventing the crisis. The governments’ bold decisions to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and citizens’ voluntary actions contrast with the response to that of the climate crisis. People can learn a lesson from Covid-19, which can show the catastrophic consequences of a complacent response to the climate crisis and present a guideline on how to respond. Governments have implemented strong measures and mobilized resources in response to Covid-19. In addition, the government has been taking bold measures to preemptively respond to the spread of the virus, including social distancing and containment measures. Investments have been made in the public health system to solve economic problems caused by the pandemic and direct economic compensations are being made.
Governments may apply these proactive measures to the climate crisis as well. We can use the Covid-19 experience and social capital as a regional climate crisis response engine. Voluntary cooperation, solidarity, trust in the government, and low-carbon lifestyle changes accumulated in the process of overcoming the new coronavirus would be able to be utilized as leverage to cope with the climate crisis.