Covid-19, and the climate change and biodiversity emergencies

Robert Watson, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Lidia Borrell-Damián

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the question, can lessons be learnt by studying the responses to COVID-19 and the human-induced climate change and loss of biodiversity emergencies? It is well recognized that to successfully address each of these issues requires sound scientific knowledge based on strong national and international research programs, cooperation between the research community and policy makers, national, regional and global evidence-based policies and coordinated actions, an informed and receptive public, and political will. A key question is how research and innovation can most effectively inform decision-making leading to cost-effective and socially acceptable action on pandemics, climate change and loss of biodiversity.

This paper first describes the how the COVID-19 pandemic has been addressed compared to the loss of biodiversity, and climate change, and then considers the use of scientific knowledge for policy-making and communication with the public. The paper then discusses human health and the natural environment as a global responsibility, and concludes on the need for an enhanced virtuous set of interactions between science, economy, politics and people.
Original languageEnglish
Article number157188
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date5 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022


  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • SARS-CoV2
  • Science-policy interface

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