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Sat, 6 June 2020

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IKEA respond to COP26 announcement

Hege Saebjornsen, Sustainability Manager

2 min read

While Covid-19 is the biggest immediate threat to our way of life today, it is crucial that we don't lose sight of the existential threat of the climate emergency, says Hege Sæbjørnsen, Sustainability Manager at IKEA UK & Ireland.

Given the current global situation, the decision to cancel the COP26 summit is both understandable and sensible. The focus of our efforts must be on the urgent situation at hand and helping to reduce the impact of Covid-19.  

While Covid-19 is the biggest immediate threat to our way of life today, it is crucial that we don't lose sight of the existential threat of the climate emergency. Both businesses and consumers are adapting how we live forced by the current pandemic, from plane travel being significantly reduced, to taking inspiration from our grandparents’ generation by batch cooking and reducing consumption whilst spending more time in our homes. One thing we are seeing from the current situation is that we are all becoming more conscious of our actions and the need for supportive and resilient communities, at a micro and macro level.

When COP26 does take place next summer, it’s likely the world will be a very different place. When recovering from the aftermath of this global pandemic, we could go back to business ‘as usual’, or worse still, we could see states and industries ramping up policies and production that generate even more CO2 and inflict greater damage on our environment and to our people.

As nations and communities start to recover from this immediate crisis, it will be more important than ever for consumers, businesses and governments to enact and implement ambitious climate positive policies, and ensure that the positive environmental and social impacts we have seen in recent weeks form the foundations for a better and kinder future.

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