Okay, welcome to the stream when you wrap up a whole week of episodes that have been suggested by you about online community, the look at the coronavirus and also climate change. It was an idea that was suggested by us to us by a filmmaker and climate activists called slater.
George emka have a look here. How’s, your friend the discussion? She will just talk about the intersection between the covert and climate crisis. I know YouTube chat is open unless all you’ve already jumped in it.
You can add your comments. Add your ideas about climate change and coronavirus and then YouTube can be industry. I want to introduce you to the guests. The guests can’t introduce themselves to you, hello, Albie, welcome to the string.
Tell everyone who you are. Thank you. My name is Alvin moon jasja. I work with Oxfam international pan Africa program. Together with our partners, we present the voices of ordinary citizens to the Africa Union and member states up to the global level on issues to do with food security and climate change, but it’s great to have you welcome to the stream generate.
Tell everybody thanks for having me, I’m, a climate science and environment crisp on it with aj+ and National Geographic Channel, thanks for being in the stream and welcome back to the stream Christiana.
There may be one or two people in the world who do not know who you are well, I guarantee they know your work, introduce yourselves well, everyone knows who you are at Kenney, so thank you for the invitation lovely to be with you again.
I’m Christiana Figueres. I am a Costa Rican citizen. I’m. Speaking to you from Costa Rica, I used to work for the United Nations and had the pleasure to lead the negotiations into the Paris agreement on climate change.
Um, and I continued to be the faithful servant of the global atmosphere and our wonderful planet. So Christiana and guess I want you to start with making that connection, which would where we are with a global pandemic and climate change and climate action you still honor.
How would you sum up that connection? Well, I would say that if you look at it rather superficially, one obviously notices that nature is having a ball right now we are seeing birds, butterflies and, and bees come back to unmold lawns.
We have animals roaming, the streets, we have clear skies. We have air that feels fresh and and so much healthier, because we have paralyzed the economy. So, while the environment has actually been benefited by the last two months, it is actually nothing to celebrate, because that is not the kind of repair and regeneration that we talk about when we are engaging with climate change or with biodiversity protection.
We’re, not talking about something that is circumstantial or something that is only temporary. We are talking about the need to have sustained efforts this year. We already know that we will be dropping in law and greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping, 8 percent.
First time in the history of humanity and it’s, pretty close to what we need 7.6. But we know that as soon as we engage again with the economy that that is going to go back up. So what we need is a very different change and, most importantly for me, the decarbonisation, the protection of biodiversity and working on climate change cannot come at the huge human cost that this has come.
It cannot come at the cost of human life and millions of human livelihoods, so interesting and exercise that we have had, but not what we want to continue Karen. Let me bring you in here: you are in LA which is notorious for pollution smog, cars and one of the first pictures I saw of what the difference locked-down made was a beautiful, clear sky night, Los Angeles, some more pictures right now.
We’ve got a route, we & # 39, ve got Venice, we have deli. These are amazing before lockdown during lockdown pictures. What do you make of this? What is this telling us about what a couple of days a couple of weeks can do to our environment? Well, what’s been incredible, is that the drop in pollution and the clearing of skies is had a tangible effect where you can literally step outside and breathe in much cleaner air and as Christina was saying, you could see the birds out the animals Out and it seems like nature’s having a comeback, it’s, been so hard to explain climate change because it’s, less tangible.
It takes so much longer for co2 to be removed from the atmosphere. So you don’t, get that direct impact, and these past few months of clean air have been a great way for people to realize what life could be like the quality of life.
We could have a big kind of connector between the two crises, for me has been the lungs that’s, been our Achilles heel in this crisis and cities where people are breathing and polluted air and tolerating that they & # 39.
Ve been harder hit with the coronavirus, so there’s, interesting links that are happening between the two major crises. I just need to go to youtube here. Alvin and I’m gon. Na put this to you, George doulas says: maybe it’s, a good idea that once a year for one month, we could shut the role down and help the planet heal.
Do you think, did you just close close from us walk or go cycling without work? I don’t think it will work because for me, in my view, inequality and poverty increases the vulnerability to climate change and and pandemics like Orana.
It is the common denominator: inequality, especially between rich countries and poor countries. It is the most obvious flow of the current neoliberal economic model, just as my colleagues Christiana has put it.
Both the climate crisis and the pandemics exacerbate the persistent inequalities that different levels of the society and those that are bound to suffer the most from these extreme effects of these two phenomena at the poorest, and they have not seen society.
So it’s. Not about shutting down the world, it is about addressing the issues of inequality where think of it. In a global economy, where the world’s, richest 1 % of people have more than twice as much as well as 4.
6 billion of the poorest people. On earth – and this is a report that we’ve done as awesome, so the ability of this majority of population right now to even access the resources they need to holistically, build their resilience and bounce back to the global crisis is severely limited and In some cases, not non-existent, so it’s about fixing the economic model, not about shutting you guess.
This is from a dr. Emerson, so much from doctors recently, but doctors and climate change has a little bit special want to prevent the next pandemic. This doctors prescribing climate action. I want to hear what he has to say.
His name is dr. Basu, and this is his take on the intersection between climate change and also the global pandemic. Is it look? India and Bangladesh were reporting thousands of new cases of coma 19 and by mid week the countries were monitoring super cyclone on farm, one of the most intense cyclones ever measured in the Bay of Bengal.
One crisis does not end because of another one and in South Asia. This week the co19 crisis will collide with the climate crisis. Many of the solutions of the climate crisis, such as stopping deforestation and rampant agriculture, are essential to mitigating the risks of the next pandemic.
We must pass transformative policy that end the era of burning fossil fuels and restore the stability of our ecosystems. Our unprecedented times demand bold thinking and in this moment of profound disruption, we must fill our moral responsibility to the safety of our children by investing in the health of our Kristiana gallery.
I saw you both know the Kristiana. You go first Gary you pick up. Second. Well, very well put and a simplistic and perhaps irresponsible child child summary of that is human health equals global health.
We have been so used to thinking that human health can be completely independent from and not affected by global health, and we are saying that that is not true. So we have to understand health in its fullest interpretation, and that goes all the way from individual humans to the entire planet and to every one of the ecosystems that actually are at the basis of our life.
Finally, perhaps we have understood this, I think the Kovach crisis is just slapped us in the face with lesson upon lesson upon blessing and the question is going to be. We’re learning those lessons every day.
We are on the greatest learning curve that we have ever been. The question is once we open the doors of our homes and offices, will we remember what we have learned? Will we take the lessons into policy? Will we take the lessons into individual behavioral change? Will we take the changes and make them sustained? We take the lessons and make them sustained changes, and not just once on Geary before you jump in it, and do you continue our conversation? I want to go to Sean Linden, say, use an hour of YouTube chat.
Julianne’s, he says we will see massive re industrialization, so it will make things worse. He’s, not feeling very optimistic about where we are right now Jamie. He’s. Absolutely right. Already in countries like China, we’re, seeing what’s called the rebound effect where they’re, trying to make up for lost economy and working double time.
Factories are pumping out way more emissions. Already. Scientists are starting to see a spike in levels and that’s, the fear that ripple effect across the planet. As everybody’s, trying to reboot the economy, get everybody back to work that we’re gonna really just lose all the great gains that we have made in this short amount of time, something that the doctor talked about.
That I’m, really happy that he touched upon is the issue of deforestation. It’s, been harder to explain that link to the general public, but the more we cut down trees and enter the habitats of wild animals and take over their homes.
The more we’re gonna have these viruses you know spreading across the planet. We need to make sure we talk about overpopulation. We talk about how we build cities and cutting down forests and natural habitats to create homes for humans, sky rises.
More apartment blocks is not the solution either. We have to change the way we live and dwell in our cities. I’m. Looking at some of the pictures from Nairobi Alvie, where you’re based and people were marveling at being able to see Mount, Kenya was like whoa.
We can see around Kenya that’s, amazing, but in terms of a very tangible difference that this global pandemic may well have on the environment around East Africa, the need for there to be cleaner air and also climate justice.
What do you see this changed or changing you see? Nairobi and Africa has has clean air. When we talk about emissions, Africa contributes about 3 percent of global emissions, and Christiana is here. So Africa is also bearing the brunt of climate change, so we demanding for rich countries to to play to pay the climate debt.
What we need in this part of the world is for the international community to honor their commitment of the Paris agreement. Let’s. Talk about climate finance; they they agreed that they will be invest in hundred billion of climate finance, to strengthen Africa’s response to issues of climate justice.
This is critical for countries in Africa that are vulnerable, who need to reboot their economies in a sustainable and resilient way. Adaptation is needed to her vulnerable communities withstand future shocks.
They are already suffering from climate issues and the risk of this pandemic will live. Even we live our people even more vulnerable to future climate shocks. So for us it’s about honoring yeah. You could say that this time last year and nobody was listening and now you’re, saying it during the global pandemic.
Are you getting more people to listen now? Are they more focused or less focused? We have been. We have been saying this during cop 25 activists lengua Nestle Makati, we were together with them until one of our components in the food is just corrupt them out.
We have been pushing for accountability and transparency from the international community to pay the climate debt and we have been campaigning to enable developing economies already drowning in the catastrophe of climate justice to be assisted through the issue of climate finance, because climate change is real and Africa’s contributed a little on the catastrophe, so that must be met.
We will continue to fight for climate justice and your message stays right. There. It hasn’t changed, but it remains with goddess is where we are in terms of the global health of international citizens.
Every bringing systems get there like a story. We is the lead in energy at Oxfam international. He’s kind of thinking. I don’t think about this differently. Maybe we should be thinking about cars and pollution and factories, etc.
We’re thinking about a new kind of energy. It is 819 shows how we can and must prioritize building renewable energy systems which are much more resilient to future shocks. Additionally, current lockdowns could lend themselves to those of us who are in a position to revisit some of our life choices and how to live more sustainably.
Being such as transportation choices getting on a plane on our empty office. Buildings which could be converted to sustainable housing and green buildings, could be some silver linings of how we can go back better.
Yet, oh it’s. Spooky you’ve. Just just done a report for aj+ about this very idea: green jobs. Coming out of the global pandemic tell us more well. This is a great opportunity to get people back to work and to retrain industries, people who come from industries that are so fossil fuel dependent.
You know it’s, a chance to get people back to work, to retrain and sort of set up a new economy. My fear, though, as I’ve sort of been investigating it, but deeper, is that that in itself is a band-aid solution.
If we don & # 39, t start looking at our own consumption issues, you know completely just electrifying, you know getting electric cars back on the road and mining, lithium and and creating materials to build these cars.
That’s, not the solution. We really have to look at our habits and our addiction to consumption at the root level, and I want to start with myself before I point the finger to everybody else. You know this pandemic has made me realize how I do my own work.
You know I’m. An international correspondent I was in Australia with the bushfire. Is the Amazon covering deforestation? And Here I am with the simple lighting kit, a microphone and an iPhone producing films that are having just as much of an impact, if not more than my field reports.
So do I really need to be traveling the world telling these stories? Can I be collaborating with local filmmakers and stock images and telling just as compelling a story? I’m. Having my own, you know she mental shift that’s happening and my own look at my consumption rates and I think that’s, where we need to start you Siana.
Well, I totally agree I’ve. I’ve, been doing exactly the same thing. I have also been traveling the world with my message about climate justice, about the vulnerability, especially in developing countries, about the urgency to meet the the climate crisis that is not unlinked to the Kovach crisis, as we have heard, and my experience is exactly the same.
Do I really want to travel three times around the world to go to a meeting that lasts one hour or one day or even four days? Fortunately, we have now all become so much more fluent in these technologies that allow us to participate to engage with each other and to have perhaps not the exact same impact as if we were personally in our bodies present with each other, but honestly, the marginal difference.
It’s, just not worth it. It’s not worth the additional costs is not worth the additional emissions. It’s, not worth the additional drain on our health. It’s, just not worth it. So I also think that we will be having major major shifts, not only in the way that we that we travel, we will be traveling less certainly for business.
We will not be commuting as much. We will be commuting much less, because companies are understanding, but then they could actually save on office spaces by having 40 or 60 or 50 percent of their workers working from home just as effectively we might even be affecting urban design because, as you’Ve heard we, if they’re, not that many cars we have a much better use for for streets and for parking places.
We will can you imagine if we know how cities that actually have much cleaner air? It’s going to be if, if we remember the lessons that we have that we are gathering here from these two months, these are the lessons that we should have been learning.
You know for years and didn’t, and now they’re just being squashed into the reality right in front of our noses and our obligation, and our responsibility here is to take those lessons and make it a reality.
Starting from the bottom up, if the new reality that we create, we cannot recreate what we had in the past. This is not about recovering the economy. This is about resetting, redesigning reinventing an economy that is more resilient.
That is more fair. That starts from the bottom of creation of jobs, but not jobs that are going to disappear five or ten years from because those sectors basically have run. They’re wrong. We have to be able to think into the future as we redesign the economy.
Kristiana, let me just remind everybody, some of that. You said right at the beginning, and this is something that is a headline that jumped at me. It’s. Quite a recent one. Global co2 emissions could fall by up to seven percent this year.
Amid the pandemic, because of the lockdowns and less industry etc, but we got this question from Twitter from rachanna and she says: could the drop in emissions service of President to redefine international climate action targets? You’ve, told us many times we have 10 years to get ourselves into gear to really tackle climate change, to really act.
So do you think these last few months, back to another year of slower economy, less traffic, us not going out so much? What difference did that mean? Well, you know this decade really is the defining decade per for climate, because we have to be at 1/2, the emissions that we had at the start of this year, not right now, one half by 2030, so a 50 % drop in over 10 years is ambitious Because we & # 39, ve never done it, but it is doable because we have shown this year that actually, that was a 7 % that was in that article.
The latest data actually pulls us already at 8 % drop. Now, as we said, not the way that we want to reach that, but it does mean that will require both individual behavior changes, as well as top-down regulations from governments that are going to help us optimize our emission reduction potential without reducing the well-being standards.
That’s, the trick we have to separate greenhouse gas growth from economic growth, especially in developing countries. Those two things have to be delinked ASAP. Hmm, I told you at the very beginning of the show viewers that this might be a came to us from for this discussion from Slater, Joel Kemper climate activists and a filmmaker, and she wanted to just put a little period on the end of this conversation.
What has she been thinking about in the last couple of months of lockdown heshes? There’s, a lot of time to think and a lot of time to reflect and what I keep coming back to you again and again throughout the surreal nature of this, and the heartbreaking nature of this is how fast we’ve, Been able to move as people and adapt to this crisis if we can take something that we always thought was not flexible and actually change everything about it within a matter of months and weeks, then, if we can do that for this threat in this crisis, it Gives me some optimism that we can actually rise to the challenge of the climate crisis and adapt as people and be able to create the society in the world that we need to live in in order to survive.
I’m gonna go to YouTube one more time to advance Jitendra and he asks what is the big takeaway from this experience we have about two minutes left. Guess I’m. Just gonna ask you to do your elevator pitch.
You’ll, take away Allen, you go first yeah. We are now approaching that crossroads. This is an opportunity that we must not miss. We can either continue with the business as usual way of development, or we can change.
We can transform the way we do things and build an economy that nurtures our people and our planet. This is a political choice that is at stake and for a second for the sake of our children, we add our leaders internationally and locally to choose the latter, because taking in the status quo will only bring about more suffering and destruction of our planet.
Guillory lessons learned jefferson lesson that’s. What you take away, I mean I couldn’t, agree more, but I have to say, amidst all this suffering and fear and loss that we’re all going through. We have to make sure that we hold on to our environmental protections, so rebooting the economy and getting people back to work is really important.
But we don’t need to lacks important environmental protections to get back to work. So we to keep an eye on those and make sure governments aren’t swiping off those key protections in the name of the economy and rebooting and getting people back because we fought hard for those and they’re gonna protect Us in the future Kristiana what would be the most impactful sentence that you can deliver to people.
Remember it well agreeing with my two wonderful colleagues here. I would summarize by saying our transition to sustainability has never been as visible and never been as achievable as it is right now.
Let us not miss this opportunity, miss dianna gallery alvin. Thank you very much for helping us explore the connection between the corona virus pandemic. Our environment and climate change thanks everybody for watching, see you next time take care.