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McConkey: Covid lessons will help with “climate emergencies”

Professor Sam McConkey has said that the government should learn lessons from Covid-19 to better prepare for future crises, such as “climate emergencies.”

The comments were made this weekend during an interview on RTÉ Radio 1 with Brendan O’Connor.

“I think our political leaders really need to go back and ask how could we have done better? What did we do well, what did we not do well? Because there are going to be new national emergencies.”

McConkey said that while some of the crises will relate to public health, “some may be other kinds of climate emergencies.”

“So we need to put in place the structures in government to be able to rapidly use science and the data to make good decisions.”

Since the world’s Covid-19 response has played out, many have postulated about the notion of a “climate lockdown.”

According to a report in Nature Climate Change, the world needs the equivalent of a Covid lockdown every 2 years to meet its Paris Accord carbon emission goals.

In November 2020, the Red Cross said that climate change is a bigger threat than Covid-19 and that should be handled with “the same urgency.”

Articles have appeared in Irish media sites such as the Journal.ie asserting that climate change is a bigger danger than Covid.

Other Irish articles have questioned how much our nation was willing to borrow to combat climate change – even as our national debt approaches a quarter of a trillion euro.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently said that the fact that the lockdown had a minimal effect on Ireland’s carbon emissions means “bigger systems change is needed.”

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