Defending the climate during COVID-19: The trials and tribulations of five climate justice organizations

Some environmental organizations are staying afloat, and even thriving, during the pandemic. Here’s how.

Why It Matters

Climate change is the gravest existential issue our planet is currently facing. But the COVID-19 pandemic is our most urgent crisis at the moment, one that threatens news coverage of the climate crisis and the organizations fighting it. How they adapt will be critical to fighting climate change for years to come.

Climate change is shaping up to be humanity’s biggest existential threat. Rising ocean levels, ghastly heat waves, and melting ice sheets are all warning signs of an impending catastrophe activists have warned about for years.

Enter the COVID-19 pandemic.

When COVID-19 began spreading beyond China, governments around the world went into crisis mode: hiring battalions of doctors, preparing makeshift hospitals, and passing strict public gathering laws. Climate change was placed on the back burner, even as wildfire smoke from California fills Ontario skies. 

Ironically, one of the symptoms of our planet’s ongoing ecological shift is the possibility of more frequent pandemics.

Environmental organizations based in Canada are still organizing Climate Week rallies and preparing for a high-profile Supreme Court hearing on provincial challenges to the federal

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