Domaine thématique 2

Préparation et gestion du COVID 19 et du changement climatique dans les villes


Yangfan Li, Xiamen University, China

Tonton Mundele, Global Affairs Canada


In addition to the impacts of climate change that are already being observed around the globe, recent pandemic caused by Covid-19 are affecting many spheres of our life and having an evident impact on carbon footprint of our cities. The sudden emergence of the pandemic and the evolving climate crisis are certainly two most important crises. Therefore, it is important to focus on proper planning and to implement efficient responses.

It is necessary to have a collective understanding regarding the relationship between COVID and climate change so actions can be coordinated and efficient. It is a shared responsibility, because environmental impacts are transboundary. The corona virus affected everyone around the world and has also resulted in a cessation of trade, business and economic activities. Governments have responded to the pandemic in different ways. Hence, it is important to analyse the impacts of covid 19 on environment and how it varies in different cities. Understanding this relationship can help approach the damage being caused by COVID in terms of climate change can save us from facing the consequences of inaction.

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change is Canada’s plan that has been developed with the provinces and territories and in consultation with Indigenous peoples to meet emissions reduction targets, grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate. As for the impact of covid 19, clear skies, reduced carbon emissions, and an improvement in air quality has been observed in some areas as consequences of quarantine. Whereas, some industries such as the aviation industry have been heavily affected by the global coronavirus pandemic. Because such industries and economic activities have come to a standstill, there is a potential positive impact on the environment. Similarly, the urban fabric of our regions is getting redefined majorly due to physical distancing regulations. The places, such as centers for social interaction that used to define the social life of a city are increasingly posing a question mark. This whole changing scenario clearly calls for construction industries to intervene.
Beyond the next few decades, the largest uncertainty about the magnitude of future climate change is rooted in uncertainty about human behaviour, that is, how the world would choose to respond to COVID. This is why International Conference on Canadian, Chinese & African Sustainable Urbanization (ICCCASU) panel discussion seeks for us to be able to act as timely as possible.

Sub questions:

  • Recent climate modeling and the increased frequency of weather anomalies show that many African cities livelihoods are especially at risk. Frustrated with the poor or non-management of the consequences of weather anomalies, those already facing economic hardship and political marginalization have to worry about consequences of likely climate changes that would occur as a response to COVID. How can we solve this issue?
  • Although greenhouse gas emissions are projected to drop about 6 % in 2020 due to travel bans and economic slowdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this improvement is only temporary (United Nations, 2020). Climate change is not on pause. Once the global economy begins to recover from the pandemic, emissions are expected to return to even higher levels. How can we keep projections low even after we recover from this pandemic?
  • 2019 was the second warmest year on record and the end of the warmest decade (2010- 2019) ever recorded. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to new records in 2019 (United Nations, 2020). What went wrong in 2019 and what caused CO2 level to increase this particular year?
  • What actions can we do to prevent future outbreaks? Can some actions related to outbreaks be the same for climate change? These investments can be really useful to support public health and science.