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WATCH: Covid-19 and the crisis of climate change

Published Jun 10, 2020


CAPE TOWN- South Africa celebrates its National Environment month in June, however the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent effects have been a primary concern for government, corporates and citizens.

A Stellenbosch University (SU) professor specialising in Sustainable Development Law and Climate Law, says that solutions to combating Covid-19 need to be aligned to those of climate change.

Professor of Law and Director of the Development and Rule of Law Programme (DROP) at SU, Oliver Ruppel says that while the Covid-19 crisis is prevalent now, the climate change crisis has been an issue for many years.

“With the Covid-19 crisis, the government had to immediately react. We can learn from this going forward, because it will show us that we can’t wait to act until a crisis overcomes us,” said Ruppel.

While dealing with one crisis is bad enough, both Covid-19 and the increasing climate change slows economic growth, exacerbates social inequalities and harbours the risk of violent conflicts among others.

“Therefore, I advocate, solutions to Covid-19 need to be aligned to those of the climate crisis for a transformation towards more sustainability, resilience, equity, and justice,” he said.

In his research Ruppel examines the interface between economic growth, human well-being and environmental sustainability and protection.

“If we want to tackle a problem as huge as climate change, every human being has the responsibility to be involved,” he said.

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