ABSTRACT

Understanding the Correlation Between Climate Change and the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis   [open html - 0B]

From the Introduction: "Despite the development and distribution of vaccines, the spread of novel coronavirus infections (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) is still raging across the globe with the emergence of variants. When the first case of COVID-19 infection appeared in South Korea in January 2020, the emerging infectious disease (EID) was compared to the previous cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) in 2003 or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2015 and so many people expected that the spread would end within a short period of time. However, as of October 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic still continues with approximately 230 million infectees and more than 4.8 million deaths worldwide. Facing the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change is also drawing attention as a major variable that affects the outbreak and spread of infectious diseases. In particular, after the introduction of empirical studies on the correlation between the emergence of COVID-19 and climate change, the public's interest is growing even more. It may be desirable that public attention to climate change, which could be more serious than any other global crises, is raised even through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. However, media reports or environmental activists' hasty conclusion based on insufficient evidence and limited empirical studies that climate change is the major cause of the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic is worrisome in that it could reduce the nature of complex correlation between the two threats to simple and direct causal relations. [...] Climate change is a megatrend-type threat that occurs everywhere and affects everything in the atmosphere and the surface of the earth, in which humans and ecosystems live. Climate change poses various unprecedented environmental crises to human living conditions such as sea level rise and extreme weather events. In addition, it has been perceived as a 'threat multiplier' that directly or indirectly affects other global threats, including infectious disease outbreaks, food and water insecurity, biodiversity loss, and involuntary displacement. [...] While overcoming the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a top priority for all of us, we must build national capacity to respond more quickly and effectively to new infectious diseases that will emerge from their coevolution with humanity."

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2021-10-21
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Asian Institute for Policy Studies
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Asian Institute for Policy Studies: https://en.asaninst.org/
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