After a year of climate change being a top media story and public policy concern in many countries, attention is and will be rightfully focused on COVID-19 for some time. This puts climate leaders in a tough situation.

Given the unprecedented disruptions to health, economic and social systems the health emergency is creating, there is a real risk governments, businesses, communities, households and individuals will lack the time, financial resources or emotional capacity to address the climate emergency by cutting emissions and preparing for impacts, even long after the pandemic has passed.

It’s also conceivable that the coronavirus crisis will lead us further into division and political polarization, rather than sustaining momentum around coming together.

Climate action cannot stall out. It’s impossible to know how long the coronavirus crisis will last, but the science is clear that time is running out to avert catastrophic climate change. Climate communicators must find ways to advance the conversation.

Sensitivity is required. Now is not a great time to tout the emission and pollution reductions occurring due to the economic shutdown. It is, however, a moment of great change where worldviews and values are being reassessed and reordered. This creates opportunities to connect the health crisis to climate change and advocate for solutions that address both.

Now, more than ever, is a time for compassion. Climate leaders have a great deal of experience working through interconnected issues and uncertainties, addressing inequities and tackling climate grief and depression in ourselves, our networks and communities.

This experience can be drawn on to ensure climate communication efforts are grounded in concern for people’s well-being and recognize the grief and trauma being experienced while at the same time offer an inspiring and achievable vision for achieving economic, health and climate resilience.

Read the full article about climate communications through COVID-19 by Cara Pike at GreenBiz.