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The Guardian view on coronavirus and the climate crisis: seize this chance

Greta Thunberg has warned that we have wasted valuable time in the fight against global heating. We need Green New Deals

Greta Thunberg, left, takes part in a protest on 5 March 2020. Photograph: François Walschaerts/AFP via Getty Images

In the early days of the pandemic, many people urged that societies could not and should not return to business as usual afterwards. Coronavirus not only confronted us with danger, but showed what was possible. By forcing massive overnight change, it demonstrated that dramatic action could be taken when a crisis was urgent enough; that many people could agree to make sacrifices when truly necessary; and that governments could invest trillions when the future of their countries demanded it. But as the great pause has turned into a gradual reopening, there is little sign that these lessons have been learned.

Greta Thunberg’s call for climate action should be seen in this context. The campaigner, writing for the Guardian to mark the second anniversary of her first school strike, says the world has wasted that time. While millions have been inspired to follow her in protest, and the European parliament has declared a climate and environmental emergency, little action has resulted. [continue]