Climate emergency: Can we learn from the covid-19 response?

Scott Brownrigg sustainability climate change cover-V1

Architects have responded to the pandemic with imagination – but been far slower to act on climate change

It is clear that when we come out of lockdown the world will be a vastly different place. With climate change predicted to cause unprecedented disruption, I am interested in the parallels between our responses to these two threats.

The pandemic has demonstrated that when faced with an immediate threat, society is capable of drastic and rapid change. But, for this to be successful, we need trust in our leaders as well as clear presentation of facts and transparency in decision-making.

At a time when this trust is low it has been telling to see that the daily briefings form the government have always included scientists to explain the facts clearly. In contrast, when addressing climate change, our politicians have tended to exclude scientists from the public discussion and the debate has focused on opinions. The lesson is that if we are to successfully and fairly address the climate crisis we need to ensure that experts are at the fore.

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