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OPINION: Bringing climate justice thinking to the COVID-19 pandemic
(Reuters News, 19 Mar 2020) Like the climate crisis, coronavirus and its spiralling impacts will hit women, the poor and marginalised the hardest - that is not an acceptable trade-off for reducing emissions
With the coronavirus pandemic gripping the planet, industries are shutting down, planes are being grounded and shoppers are staying home. COVID-19 has already reduced China’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. Other countries may experience similar trends, leading to lower emissions in 2020 than in previous years.
But this doesn’t mean that we should be cheering the climate benefits of the outbreak.
Instead, advocates for climate justice recognise that like the climate crisis, the pandemic and its spiralling impacts, will hit women, the poor and most marginalised the hardest.
We believe that responses to climate change – and all global emergencies – must have social justice at their core. This means rejecting the idea that the suffering of vulnerable people and increasing inequality are acceptable trade-offs for reducing emissions.
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