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Covid-19 highlights risks of doing nothing on global heating

‘Green Swan’ Virus Shock Proves Need for Joint Climate Action, Bloomberg Law

May 14, 2020  
  • Covid-19 highlights risks of doing nothing on global warming
  • BIS urges global cooperation in rethinking old routines

The coronavirus pandemic that’s sent the global economy into a tailspin highlights the need for international collaboration to tackle crises posing severe threats to human lives, chief among them climate change, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

Much like global warming, the disease outbreak meets the criteria for being a “Green Swan,” according to the Basel, Switzerland-based institution, which adapted Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “Black Swan” concept for high-impact adverse events outside the scope of regular expectations to describe risks that are highly likely to materialize but too complex to fully understand…….

Central banks have already begun to consider climate change as a factor in their assessment of financial and economic risks, and the BIS highlighted the possibility of further multidisciplinary efforts to absorb large shocks. …..

With the global economy in the throes of its deepest dive since the 1930s, the pandemic may jolt decision makers into action to address global warming, according to the BIS.

“Covid-19 might have presented a vivid image of what the future might look like if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases, inflicting similar stoppages worldwide after some tipping-point is reached,” it said. “It may also have raised awareness of the fragility of some of our systems and therefore of the need for improved efficiency and greater resilience.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Catherine Bosley in Zurich at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Fergal O’Brien at

May 16, 2020 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, climate change, health

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