Monday, April 15, 2024

Despite COVID-19, the push to save the planet soldiered on in 2020


The last year has been anything but normal for the global environmental movement.

COVID-19 has scotched more than a half-dozen high-level summits, where, in non-pandemic times, government officials, international organisations, scientists and activists would have gathered in person to work out policies and plans for challenges facing people and the planet. Important discussions still took place online.

While some headline-grabbing conferences were postponed, COVID-19 hasn’t slowed the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said the organization’s head as it looks ahead to 2021.

“COVID-19 underscores the urgency of our work and forced us to be even more diligent in combating threats to the Earth,” said Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director. “The pandemic is a symptom of humanity’s fractured relationship with the natural world – and we don’t have long to repair that bond.”

The Earth is facing an unprecedented set of threats, including climate change, rampant pollution and mass extinction of wildlife. In 2020, UNEP staff worked hard, often behind the scenes, to address those challenges, said Andersen. Read more…

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