UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


What kind of new normal? Addressing the health and climate crises simultaneously

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented decline in human carbon emissions. However, climate scientists have warned against celebration because of the danger that a rush to bring economic activity back to normal will further commit humanity to an unsustainable and high-risk future. If anything, the pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of many countries to adverse shocks and their inability to adequately protect the health of their citizens.

This webinar will examine the connections between the health and climate crises and make the case for an integrated response. It will ask:

  • How should states transform their public health and innovation systems to navigate out of the pandemic and increase global resilience to future health crises?
  • What conditionalities are then needed in the economic response to ensure that it produces a more sustainable and health-focused economy?
  • Can the pandemic serve as a trigger for a comprehensive shift to a new normal with different values, different lifestyles and a different societal paradigm?

Watch the lecture

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About the speakers

Els Torreele

Els Torreele is a leading figure in the global effort to increase the access of the world's population to suitable and affordable medical treatments. Until recently, she directed the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Access Campaign where she worked to push the development of medicines, vaccines and diagnostics that address shortfalls in global health provision.

Carlota Perez

Carlota Perez is a pioneering scholar on the role of innovation in long-run economic and social change and the interaction between technology and institutions. Her 2002 book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages had a great influence on our understanding of role of finance in the emergence and diffusion of technological revolutions and the connection of this to financial crises.