The British High Commission in Cyprus presents its fourth webinar in the #DynamicUK series, this time talking to atmospheric physicist Joanna Haigh on the effects COVID-19 has had on the environment. The webinar reveals how elements of the UK adapted to the pandemic and how they continue to innovate to rise to the challenges they face.
Professor Haigh spoke to Dr. Stylianos Yiatros, Assistant Professor at the Cyprus University of Technology, on how a green recovery should look like post-COVID.
Prof. Haigh discusses the increasing threats for climate change and the challenges posed in meeting the internationally agreed limit of 1.5 degrees of global warming. She also touches on how the pandemic can boost a ‘green’ recovery and might offer a win-win situation for the economy and climate. Prof. Joanna Haigh stated:
A plot of the Global Average Surface Temperature of the Earth over about 170 years… shows that the unremitting trend over that period is upwards… Of the seven warmest years in this curve… you can see that 2019 was the second warmest year. 2020 is definitely going to be the warmest in Europe and it may or may not be the warmest in the world. The whole message is that we are getting warmer.
Throughout this insightful interview, the co-Director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment paints a very elaborate picture of the situation in terms of climate change and rises in temperature, along with the activities and strategies that can help a green recovery during the pandemic.
Commenting on the effects of COVID-19, Prof. Haigh states:
We are in this situation now, this horrible global pandemic and disease, and of course it’s having a hit on the economy and many countries are thinking how are going to recover from COVID-19. But, I think we need to think about this, as an opportunity, not a threat. Clearly, there’s going to be a lot of funding needed to get industries going again and get everybody recovered. But, if we take the right steps, we can do a green recovery which then has a win-win situation and it can have advantages in many aspects of the environment, as well as producing a more healthy background for us all.
Prof. Haigh is an atmospheric physicist and for five years co-Director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. Prior to that, she was Head of Imperial’s Physics Department. She has published widely in the area of climate modelling and radiative forcing of climate change; her work on how changes in solar activity influence the climate has been particularly influential.
Moreover, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics (IoP) and the City & Guilds Institute and an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, and of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) of which she is also a past-President.
Discover more and gain insights on climate change and the needed recovery, by watching the entire webinar in the video below.
The British High Commission has opened up an invitation to six highly innovative British professionals from various industries to share their knowledge and expertise on how the current pandemic has affected their fields.
Check out our social media channels for more exciting upcoming discussions!