Some COVID-19 strategies can be used to fight climate change
– Health Minister tells G77+China summit
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony today said there are strategies which can be adopted from the COVID-19 pandemic and used in the fight against climate change.
The Minister was addressing the virtual flagship event being hosted by the Government of Guyana, in its capacity as Chair of the Group of 77 and China.
Dr. Anthony said there has been strong leadership from global and regional bodies, and national Governments have been able to mobilise an unprecedented amount of resources to combat the coronavirus.
“Leadership is necessary, and we know we have had these long battles of trying to get conventions in place so that we can reduce the impact of climate change. And despite some setbacks, we have had persons who are leading in the right direction, and we need to import some of what we have just done with the COVID pandemic and bring it to the fight for climate change,” Minister Anthony said.
The Minister also said one of the lessons from the pandemic that can be applied to tackling climate change is to intensify research and adapt the necessary findings.
“We … have been able to mobilise scientific talent and we know that we can go faster with innovation and research so that we can be able to mitigate some of the effects of climate change,” he said.
Dr. Anthony noted that climate change would affect health and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people over the next few decades.
“We have already seen that with climate change disease patterns are changing and the spread of vector-borne disease to places not known before and we have seen recent epidemics of zika and chikungunya spreading to other parts of the world, and all of this is being attributed to climate change.”
Climate change has also intensified heatwaves to which the elderly are particularly vulnerable.
Dr. Anthony stated that the fight against climate change must be infused with the same urgency adopted to combat COVID-19.