Elections in a pandemic | Earth may get dangerously warm

Posted by: The Conversation Global

Date: Friday, 11 September 2020


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across many aspects of life. This year’s United Nations International Democracy Day – 15 September – will be marked under the most difficult circumstances in recent memory because of the pandemic. To minimise the risk of infections, some nations have put their elections on hold, while others are proceeding under the most restrictive conditions. Free and fair electoral processes are a key tenet of democracy. Nic Cheeseman reviews insights from a new book, published by the British Academy, which sets out how elections can be held safely and democratically amid COVID-19. It covers a range of topics, including how to establish health protocols and manage the risk of election violence. It also sets out the options for international election observers.

One of the rare upsides to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a dramatic fall in carbon dioxide emissions, as billions of people stayed at home and economies slowed. Was this, some people wondered, the turning point on climate action the world desperately needs? Unfortunately, the answer is clearly no. In fact, as CSIRO’s Pep Canadell and Stanford University’s Rob Jackson writes, Earth may temporarily hit the dangerous 1.5℃ warming limit by 2024, according to a major new report by the World Meteorological Organisation. Remember that the Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century. As the authors explain, we have a one in four chance of passing that in at least one of the next five years – and the risk is growing.

Thabo Leshilo

Politics + Society

A campaign poster of John Magufuli of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party who is seeking re-election as president in October. Ericky Boniphace/AFP via Getty Images)

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Nic Cheeseman, University of Birmingham

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Kelly Barnes/AAP

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En Français

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En español

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Clara Martínez, Universidad Pontificia Comillas

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