Coronavirus update

Reading time: 3 minutes
19 March 2020

Here at The Climate Group, our hearts go out to all of our partners and stakeholders who are currently being so fundamentally impacted by the Coronavirus. Our thoughts are with all those affected personally, and we are mindful of the huge challenges our partners in government and business are now facing.

The Climate Group has taken time to pause and reflect on the true value of our networks in this crisis. While our mission remains undimmed, we recognize that we are already in a very different world; one area we are all grappling with is learning how we can work together virtually. Our teams in the UK, the US and India are all working remotely as part of ‘social distancing’ – a concept that meant nothing a matter of months ago. 

For many years we’ve practiced considered travel – that is only going in person when you really need to – and encouraged the use of online connection. Given the nature of our work, it certainly never looks great to arrive on a plane. However, have we ever truly believed in the power of the virtual world to provide the same outcomes as physical attendance at intimate stakeholder meetings, diplomatic discussions or international events?  

We have to be honest with ourselves: it is not the same. It is a different skillset we now are being forced to learn. So, let’s do it with good grace, put our money where our mouth is and work out what truly ‘needs’ a physical meeting, even when this crisis is over. To that end, we are evolving new and different ways of working. As an organization that builds networks of businesses and governments across sectors and borders, this is a challenge that we can manage. While we are already used to collaborating remotely, we must expand and deepen our skillset. We can guarantee that, despite the tragedy and disruption of this crisis, the climate community can and will be able to rise to this challenge and work smarter, embrace technology and travel far less.

To touch on one more issue close to our hearts – we ask for caution when commenting on the international decline in emissions from the stark drop in consumption and travel. We need a just transition, and that means not leaving people behind. The Climate Group will not endorse any celebration of the impacts of a virus that is a serious threat to both millions of lives and millions of livelihoods. We do not believe this is how we will move the dial on climate action.

We use this situation as a reminder. A reminder to be grateful; a reminder to be kind to colleagues, partners and strangers all over the world; a reminder that humans can be limitlessly innovative when required.

The response to this international situation gives us hope for the climate, both in our ability to change and our ability to care.

Stay safe, stay in touch, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your personal contacts or via the details below:

For general enquiries, please email: info@theclimategroup.org

For media enquiries, please email: media@theclimategroup.org

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