Climate, COVID-19, and the collaboration we need


The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded an unprecedented global response. With every nation experiencing the social and economic shock comes the stark realisation that we must adopt new and better ways to deal with global crises, including the climate emergency. IIED and ICCCAD hosted an online event on Friday, 19 June to discuss what kind of collaboration and action is needed.

Last updated 28 January 2021
A man wearing a face mark hands a bag to a woman also wearing a face mask

COVID-19 pandemic relief services in Chandpur, Bangladesh (Photo: Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Belur Math, via Flickr, public domain)

The coronavirus crisis has triggered unparalleled global action and exposed stark social and economic inequalities and system weaknesses.

COVID-19 has shown us that we need to abandon the old, normal way of dealing with global emergencies. It has highlighted that long-term complex challenges and short-term crises demand a new response and new ways of working.

As we look ahead, what do we need to do differently? And what can we learn from the pandemic and the global crisis of inequality that can help us tackle the climate crisis?

This event brought together international think tanks to discuss the kind of collaboration and action that is needed now to achieve transformative change, and prepare us for a radically different world.

Event coverage

You can see a video recording of the complete event below, including the question-and-answer session with webinar participants, and on IIED's YouTube channel.

About the series

This was the first online event in a series hosted by IIED and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) on the climate crisis and COVID-19 – working together for the change we need, which will be hosted between June and October 2020.

In conversation with colleagues around the world, from civil society organisations to universities and governments, this series will look at what we can learn to make us more ready for the new ways of working we need to tackle the climate crisis.

Building resilience, capacity, and adaptation have always provided a pathway to change – how can we use what we know and have achieved so far to ramp up our climate ambition? Drawing on lessons learned through capacity building, advocacy, and grassroots action, how can we catalyse a different future?

See other events in the series:

About the speakers

Andrew Norton (chair) is director of IIED. He is an applied anthropologist working on a range of issues related to social and environmental justice.

Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh, and is an expert on the links between climate change and sustainable development, particularly from the perspective of developing countries.

Fatima Denton is the director of the Institute for Natural Resources in Africa at the United Nations University, Ghana

Achala Abeysinghe is the country representative for Papua New Guinea (PNG) at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), leading the country programme on green growth and climate resilience.

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Juliette Tunstall (, internal engagement and external events officer