A plan of Merwede, a car-free area residential district in Utrecht, designed to house 12,000 people. Photograph: Okra, marco.broekman Difficult and almost impossibly daunting as it may seem, the world is faced with not one but two existential crises and two races against time: the coronavirus and the climate emergency. Dealing with both is going to require extraordinary focus and resolution. Already there is a whiff of political opportunism in the air. Last week, the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said that the €1tn European Green Deal , unveiled and enshrined in law by the European commission barely three weeks ago, should be put to one side . Member states, he advised, should concentrate all resources on combating a pandemic which, one by one, is shutting down societies and economies. Along with other eastern European states such as Poland, the Czech government has been reluctant to acknowledge the scale of action required to combat global heating, which would have a severe impact on fossil fuel industries in their countries. The extreme urgency of defeating Covid-19 scarcely needs stating. But Mr Babiš’s broader suggestion has been rightly rejected. “This is one of the very reasons why we presented the climate […]


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