Thoughts on the Covid-19 Pandemic

Is there a connection between our food system, agriculture and the Coronavirus? How does the Covid-19 pandemic relate to climate change? Should we treat animals better to avoid a future pandemic? Could we have avoided the virus outbreak if we had shifted public funds from military to sustainable development?

The Coronavirus pandemic is more than a health crisis. It is rooted in how we treat our planet, how we prioritise our public spendings. And it will impact our lives for much longer than we expect. Find be below a compilation of interesting thoughts of our Councillors and Honorary Councillors on the Covid-19 outbreak.


Excerpts and Videos

Covid-19 and the right for clean water

Maude Barlow: “COVID-19 puts the human right to water front and centre

Maude BarlowAccording to health experts, one of the most important things we can all do to stop the spread of the coronavirus is wash our hands often, and well, with soap and hot water and keep our surroundings clean. But more than half the global population lacks access to somewhere to wash with soap and warm water.

Read more

Can we initiate a global green recovery, embedding economics within sound ecological parameters?

Herbert Girardet: “A manifesto for the Coronacene

The global impacts of Covid-19 have left humanity reeling. This virtually invisible virus has greatly amplified an ongoing planetary emergency and reminded us of the fragility of the human condition. A global health crisis is being superimposed on a global environmental crisis – defined by climate change, biodiversity loss, soil depletion and chemical pollution.

Read more

Covid-19 and inequalities in our globally interconnected economic systems

Herbert Girardet: “Is nature taking revenge?

People across the planet are asking whether the novel coronavirus pandemic represents nature taking revenge on a rampant humanity. But is this thesis relevant in the current context? Unprecedented human numbers, coupled with unprecedented demands for resources, may have unleashed an ecological tsunami of our own making.

Read more

The Voice of Future Generations

Kehkashan Basu: A Video Message from our Youth Ambassador


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video


UHC 2030: universal health coverage commitments and Covid-19

Maria Fernanda Espinosa and UHC2030 Co-Chairs: “Statement on COVID-19 and UHC

Health is a fundamental human right and the foundation of economic prosperity and security.  This global crisis is a sharp reminder that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality and affordable health services. These are the key asks and UN HLM commitments can help guide political leaders as they respond to COVID-19.

Read more

Open Letter to Global Leaders – A Healthy Planet for Healthy People

Call to Action from the Planetary Emergency Partnership*: Emerging from the Planetary Emergency and partnering between People and Nature

“This is the moment for all of us to rise to the challenge of collaborative leadership and work together to find pathways to emerge from this emergency with a global economic reset. People and nature must be at the center of this deep transformation for redistribution, regeneration and restoration. Prosperity for people and the planet is possible only if we make bold decisions today so that future generations can survive and thrive in a better world.”

Among the First Signatories of the letter our Members:

  • Ernst von Weizsäcker, founding president of the Wuppertal Institute, Honorary President of the Club of Rome
  • Herbert Girardet, co-founder, World Future Council, ExCom member, Club of Rome
  • Anders Wijkman, Chairman Climate-KIC, Honorary President Club of Rome, Sweden
  • Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives
  • Dr. Maja Göpel, Secretary General, German Advisory Council Global Change
  • Vandana Shiva, Right Livelihood Award recipient, founder of Navdanya, board member for Regeneration International
  • J. Daniel Dahm, Senior Advisor, World Future Council; German Association Club of Rome

and our Executive Director Alexandra Wandel.

Read full letter and First Signatories

Coronavirus & Agriculture

Vandana Shiva: “Ecological Reflections on the Corona Virus

Picture of Vandana Shiva Picture of Maja Göpel sharing her thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemicThe health emergency that the corona virus is waking us up to is connected to the emergency of extinction and disappearance of species, and it is connected to the climate emergency. All emergencies are rooted in a mechanistic, militaristic, anthropocentric world view of humans as separate from, and superior to other beings who we can own, manipulate and control . It is also rooted in an economic model based on the illusion of limitless growth and limitless greed which systematically violates planetary boundaries and ecosystem and species integrity.

Read full article

How does the Covid-19 pandemic relate to climate change?

Otto Scharmer: “Eight Emerging Lessons: From Coronavirus to Climate Action

Picture of Otto ScharmerHaving returned to the US from Europe on the last plane before the travel ban kicked in two days ago, I feel as if I have traveled backwards in time. Which is exactly what people report when they arrive in Europe from East Asia now. You feel as if you’re moving backward in time, back into an earlier state of awareness, which the country of departure had already moved past. Here are my eight takeaways.

Read full article

This article is also avaible iGerman  Spanish, and French.

The Covid-19 pandemic and sustainable development

Alyn Ware / Move the Money Campaign: “Shift resources from nukes to public health!”

Picture of Alyn Ware

[…] in 2018, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates warned that the world should be “preparing for a pandemic in the same serious way it prepares for war” […]

But their warnings and recommendations went unheeded by the US government, which increased military spending in 2019 to $738 billion while cutting the Centre for Disease Control budget by 20% to $11 billion.

Read full article

Europe after the pandemic

Maja Göpel: “A Social-Green Deal, with just transition—the European answer to the coronavirus crisis

Picture of Maja Göpel sharing her thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic

Taking a lot of formerly unthinkable social, political and economic measures is necessary to avoid massive disruption in the short term but without rolling back a transformation that was already in train. That transformation, towards a carbon-neutral European continent, regenerated soils, protected biodiversity and oceans and a circular economy, has been the subject of strategies designed to avoid crises of the magnitude we are witnessing today.

Read full article

Coronavirus, animal welfare and biodiversity

Jane Goodall: A Video Message on Covid-19


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video