We need far more radical thinking than any COP26 deal to save the planet

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COVID-19’s impact is far higher than what is commonly assumed, and there is still a long way to go. Global vaccination rates are hopelessly inadequate, yet very few governments have any clear vision for what is really needed. And then there is Vallance’s view that the impact of climate change will be much greater than COVID-19.

Indeed, climate breakdown is likely to be far more catastrophic over the longer term – but since the global response to the pandemic hasn’t been anywhere near as effective as what is required, where does that leave hopes for climate change? Whatever the outcome from COP26, what has been discussed so far may have been appropriate two decades ago, but now is appallingly late.

At the very least, we have to rethink what we even mean by international security. These two issues represent by far the greatest security challenges facing humankind, yet there is close to $2trn a year spent on the military outlays that are largely irrelevant when it comes to pandemics and climate breakdown.

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