London: The Red Cross on Tuesday warned that climate change is critical and should be treated with the same urgency as the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 100 natural disasters have happened since the pandemic started and this is a symbol that climate change is not taking a break, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) said in a new report.
“Of course, COVID-19 is there, it’s in front of us, it is affecting our families, our friends, our relatives,” IFRC Secretary-General Jagan Chapagain said at a virtual press conference.
“It’s a very, very serious crisis the world is facing currently,” he said of the pandemic, which has already claimed more than 1.3 million lives. But he warned that the IFRC expects “climate change will have a more significant medium and long term impact on the human life and on Earth.”
He also highlighted that “unfortunately there is no vaccine for climate change”.
He warned that climate change will require “a much more sustained action and investment to really protect the human life on this Earth”.
The IFRC noted that in 2019, the world was hit by 308 natural disasters out of which 77 per cent were climate or weather-related and resulted in the deaths of 24,400 people. This death rate has increased by 35 per cent since 1990s.
It is pertinent to point out that during the initial days of the lockdown, pollution levels had dipped drastically around the world. Reports of Venice’s water bodies being clear to peaks of Himalayas being visible from plains had gone viral.