According to Austria’s Federal Government, all people in Austria who are over 16 years old and who want to get vaccinated against Sars-Cov-2 should have been offered at least the first jab by summer. This should allow a step-by-step comeback of public life and of private freedom. How will this affect the discussions revolving around climate change – one of the most ardently discussed topics of 2019? Karl Steininger is an economist and expert at Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, gives an assessment of this issue:
"We expect vaccinations to lift us out of this health crisis. And once they have, the climate crisis can and will be back in the centre of attention. This is because the climate crisis poses a far greater danger than the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it manifests itself more slowly and is thus always on the verge of disappearing from the public’s consciousness.
We have seen how vulnerable we are. But have we found a better way to guard against dangers? Because something as simple as an injection will not cure the “Earth’s fever”. What is needed here is a shared vision of the future which we can then implement in everyday life. The COVID-19 crisis in particular has shown that decisive action enforced by politics and society is possible when much is at stake. This is undoubtedly the case with the climate crisis. At the same time, it opens our eyes to great opportunities for shaping the future for the benefit of us all. It is time to act!"