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Upcoming Events

GENeva Environment Dialogues | The Impact of COVID-19 on Climate Science

02/07/2020 9:00 10:20


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This session of the GENeva Environment Dialogues, co-organized with the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Group on Earth Observations, will address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on climate science.

About the GENeva Environment Dialogues

The GENeva Environment Dialogues’ special COVID-19 series discusses the impacts of the pandemic on the global environmental agenda. Experts are concerned that the world is losing critical time to turn around alarming trends in biodiversity loss, climate change, sound management of chemicals and other environmental threats.

The series addresses the following topics:

  • The impact of the crisis on the invited organization activities
  • The response of the invited organization to the COVID-19 crisis
  • The impacts on the preparations of the conferences and negotiations they are hosting
  • New schedules and programmes for these conferences and negotiations

Impact of COVID-19 on Climate Science

The pandemic has affected the activities of scientific institutions and government agencies worldwide, leading to a reduced productivity in some programs and gaps in long-term climate data. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was among the first organization to express concerns about our planet’s observation system. Due to the disruption in scientific work and the cancellation of conferences caused by the pandemic, the extension to the literature cut-off date has been implemented and the Lead Author meetings of reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been postponed. It is now essential to focus on leveraging scientific support and knowledge-sharing for a sustainable recovery.

Lockdown and related measures implemented by countries to limit the spread of COVID-19 have led to a decrease in economic activities and a drop in road transport, temporarily cleaning skies and decreasing levels of certain air pollutants. However, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere and oceans for centuries. The scientific community reminds us continuously that the world needs to be committed to continued efforts in climate change regardless of any temporary decrease in emissions due to the pandemic. Researchers have also found that air pollution might have intensified the pandemic.


Bruno Pozzi
Director, Europe, UNEP

Oksana Tarasova
Chief, Atmospheric Environment Research Division, WMO

Valérie Masson-Delmotte
Working Group I Co-Chair, IPCC

Hans-Otto Pörtner
Working Group II Co-Chair, IPCC

Jim Skea
Working Group III Co-Chair, IPCC

Sara Venturini
Climate Coordinator, GEO Secretariat

H.E. Amb. Miriam Shearman
Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the UK to the UN and other International Organisations


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