The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are complex existential threats, unpredictable in many ways and unprecedented in modern times. There are parallels between the scale and scope of their impacts and responses. Understanding shared drivers, coupled vulnerabilities, and criteria for effective responses will help societies worldwide prepare for the simultaneous threats of climate change and future pandemics. We summarize some shared characteristics of COVID-19 and climate change impacts and interventions and discuss key policy implications and recommendations.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to address interactions between the economy, society, and the biosphere. However, indicators used for assessing progress toward the goals do not account for these interactions. To understand the potential implications of this compartmentalized assessment framework, we explore progress evaluations toward SDG 14 (Life below Water) and intersecting social goals presented in submissions to the UN High-Level Political Forum.