COVID-19 pandemic lessons to facilitate future engagement in the global climate crisis

Krystal M. Perkins, Nora Munguia, Michael Ellenbecker, Rafael Moure-Eraso, Luis Velazquez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in January 2020. As of November 2020, over 54 million cases and over 1 million deaths have been reported globally. The sudden coronavirus global pandemic has also pointed to the importance of tackling the global climate crisis even more urgently. This article discusses six lessons drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic that can inform and facilitate greater future engagement in the global climate crisis. These lessons were identified through monitoring and analyzing media coverage of COVID-19 related events during the initial onset of COVID-19 in late January 2020 to June 30, 2020. The key lessons included the potentiality of reducing fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions, the significance of responding late, a case for strong sustainability, the limits of rugged individualism, a (mis)trust in science, and the possibility of large-scale change. The insights put forward point to the fact that, like the COVID-19 pandemic, people need to continue to attach their health to expectations of government action in the context of the global climate crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125178
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Climate change
  • Climate crisis
  • COVID-19
  • Future climate actions
  • Lessons


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