UN: Covid, Climate Change & Racial Justice are all Linked
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the UN, everything bad you see in the news is linked to climate change. Or something like that.
Covid-19 pandemic is ‘fire drill’ for effects of climate crisis, says UN official
Lise Kingo says social equality issues must be part of sustainable development agenda
Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent
Tue 16 Jun 2020 00.16 AEST
The coronavirus pandemic is “just a fire drill” for what is likely to follow from the climate crisis, and the protests over racial injustice around the world show the need to tie together social equality, environmental sustainability and health, the UN’s sustainable business chief has said.
“The overall problem is that we are not sustainable in the ways we are living and producing on the planet today,” said Lise Kingo, the executive director of the UN Global Compact, under which businesses sign up to principles of environmental protection and social justice. “The only way forward is to create a world that leaves no one behind.”
She said there were “very, very clear connections” between the Covid-19 and climate crises, and the Black Lives Matter protests around the world, which she said had helped to reveal deep-seated inequalities and “endemic and structural racism”.
“We have seen illustrated to everyone that social inequality issues are part of the sustainable development agenda,” Kingo said.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said building a fairer society would be essential to the world’s health, as well as to saving the planet from climate breakdown and ecological destruction.
“Today, the fabric of society and the wellbeing of people hinge on our ability to build a fair globalisation,” he told the two-day UN Global Compact virtual conference of business leaders, which started on Monday.
“Where once ‘do no harm’ was a common approach for the business community, today we are arriving at a new landscape of elevated expectations and responsibilities. But despite progress, serious threats would undermine our future, including climate change, poverty, loss of biodiversity and widening social inequalities. The pandemic has underscored the world’s fragilities, which extend far beyond the realm of global health.”
Eric Worrall: “In my opinion this is flailing, a desperate attempt by the UN to tie climate change to an issue people care about.
But the UN climate activists and their allies still seem to have a lot of money to fling about, so they are far from finished. Billions of dollars are in the balance, tied up in existing renewable energy investments which could become worthless overnight, if the world’s cash strapped governments decide to switch off their renewable energy life support programmes, as Spain did in 2011.”