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COVID-19, Resiliency, Climate, and the Environment in the News

A man walks past closed Air France counters at the NYC International Airport. [KENA BETANCUR / AFP]

The dramatic and rapid changes in behaviors of individuals, organizations, and systems at all scales induced by the COVID-19 pandemic affect our environment, climate, and ecosystems.

What does our reaction to the pandemic say about our ability to tackle climate change? How does social distancing impact greenhouse gas emissions? Has COVID-19 helped ease air pollution? How have landscapes and biodiversity evolved since February? Is climate change multiplying the global health threats posed by novel coronavirus? What lessons are we learning today about urgent mobilization for the greater good that can be applied to a similar challenge (climate change) that is on a longer timeline?

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech and an author of the National Climate Assessment, reflected on the possible connection between coronavirus and climate change in a series of tweets: “The short answer is, very little,” she wrote, “but the long answer is, everything is related.”

Mainstream news media from around the world have started to cover these complex relationships, as we are witnessing them today and as they could evolve beyond the pandemic. There is a lot to learn from the crisis we are living and adapting to, so we started compiling a database of stories that can teach us lessons as we work to fight climate change and rebuild with resilience every step of the way.

We will keep adding to this list as more is being published, so bookmark this page to stay tuned! If you would like to suggest an article, please send it to

When the outbreak finally ends, “if we can tell that story of what we just went through and help people understand that this is an accelerated version of another story we’re going through that has the same plot structure but a different timeline, that could be transformative.”

-Elizabeth Sawin, co-director of Climate Interactive.