Within a short period of time, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has fundamentally changed our lives worldwide with massive impacts on all fundamental systems: from health and well-being to economic, financial and political systems, food production and supply chains, to education, work and social life. It demonstrates the systemic nature of risk in a highly interconnected world challenging existing governance mechanisms. Thus societies need to learn and develop new approaches of dealing with these systemic risks.
Climate change related systemic risks have the potential to be an even greater threat than those of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both crises need a global approach, both threaten reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and postponement makes the situation worse. In either case the poor are disproportionally affected. As with COVID-19 communication, fake news and social media play an important role, and science, technology and governance are crucial for societal resilience in face of climate change systemic risks.
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch and Dr. Mirjam Jenny (Institute for Planetary Health Behaviour) are part of the steering committee.