Christiana Figueres, the former head of the UN climate secretariat, speaks to the FT’s Vanessa Kortekaas about the need to tackle Covid-19 and the climate crisis simultaneously, why the pandemic is an opportunity to build low-carbon economies and how the 2020 US election will affect climate policy.
Of the covid-19 pandemic on the fight against climate change. the enactment of the european commission’s new climate now the fact is that during these coronavirus times, and if we understand that the crises have converged, the eight per cent reduction in, i believe, fossil fuels i mean, does that show that it is so difficult for countries with the attendant, intensity,
And frankly, waste of carbon. because we not being very smart about the energy that we use. gases from the gdp, the measure through which we measure talking about more sustainable growth going forward, we should be building with a very different intent, so, for me, it’s more about building forward rather than president trump has withdrawn from the paris agreement, which
And secondly, if joe biden were to win the election this year, agreement on the 4th of november because no matter what most of the states, on both the east and the west coast, hundreds of corporations everywhere in the united states first, he has already announced that he would rejoin the paris and incentives with those efforts in the united states so yes, a president biden
Would make up for that very quickly. i think it makes it more likely in the sense that we have we have realised that absolutely it is not the same to do things but that the marginal difference in quality of being there health, certainly the greenhouse gas emissions of travel. the fact that many people even when the economy opens up, they don’t necessarily have to have
100 per cent occupancy that i have talked to recently have told me across the board to be an openness, if not an eagerness, to change the way before the pandemic started was cutting down in plastics, no, i think this is actually a temporary situation where but that not necessarily have the environmental impact. on a lot of these issues, on travel, on work, on plastics.
Financial crisis, there was a rise in those emissions, but already that’s been increasing by four per cent and road initiative to figure out where those investments are conversely, if they’re able to make those investments in order i think that one factor is definitely going to be whether and the united states have come to four different bilateral collaborate with each other
In the development of new so i think they will still be very open to collaborating if they’re not, i guess, moving forward, as you say, are we, now in a post covid economic recovery period? has shown that we have no more atmospheric space for coal. degrees, which is a world of constant physical destruction and they’re cleaner, and they’re better for our health. so human
Health and planetary health are both linked. economic inequality, health inequality, and some of these, to the ocean, and coming at them was a relatively small wave is underneath all of this, which you have mentioned, vanessa. so it is absolutely, absolutely incontrovertible that all the solutions, and we should be able to put the human being because by addressing one,
You do address the other. sequential crisis management is just not going to work. and hence, we have to deal with them in that interconnected christiana figueres, thank you very much for your time.
Transcribed from video
Fighting coronavirus and the climate crisis | FT Interview with Christiana Figueres By Financial Times