A ‘mass experiment’ for the climate


Has the pandemic helped individuals and leaders get any closer to tackling the environmental crisis?


“I was so worried about the dangers of going too far,” says Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, when she now thinks about her pre-pandemic leadership on the environment. The leader of Australia’s second most populated city believes Covid-19 has helped her clarify what’s important to her as an individual and as mayor. “I have become much more resolute about my values, prioritising humanity and protecting the environment, so they can play a larger role in driving my agenda.”

墨尔本市长萨莉·卡普(Sally Capp)说:“我很担心走得太远的危险,”现在她想起了她在大流行前在环境问题上的领导地位。澳大利亚第二大人口城市的领导人认为,Covid-19帮助她澄清了作为一个个人和作为一个市长什么是重要的。“我对自己的价值观变得更加坚定,优先考虑人道主义和保护环境,因此它们可以在推动我的议程方面发挥更大的作用。

The pandemic has created the most significant economic shock since the Great Depression, besides being a public health crisis like no other in living memory. The existential threat that it has posed has set many individuals, cities and national leaders on a new track. In Capp’s case, it has meant taking very different decisions on the environment, leading in a way that focuses on what’s truly important. Capp believes this trend needs to continue post Covid-19.


There is indeed a large movement to “build back better” from the pandemic in a way that confronts the climate crisis. Attitudes are changing. But however good our intentions as individuals, it will take determined moves by industry, national and local government to modify the environment so that we can all build on any attitude changes. Has the pandemic helped us make the changes needed to tackle the environmental crisis?