Global overheating and its devastating impacts will be the main concern around the world when this Covid-19 pandemic subsides during 2021. Cutting emission of methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases needs speeding up. So does adaptation to the inevitable consequences of what some – euphemistically – still call "climate change". The urgency of action will be underlined again, like every summer in the Northern hemisphere, by the inescapable effects of rising heat, rising seas, and ferocious weather systems inflicting damage.
How do we transition from the dominant status quo, an extractive political economy, towards a regenerative, circular system?
From a crisis to another: a wasted decade of growth?
Technology trends, behavioural changes and sustainability are going to shape the future of mobility in the coming decades. Now, more than ever, is the time to holistically rethink mobility for both passengers and freight transport.
Current trends in passenger mobility may be drastically affected by emerging innovative trends such as:
As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip on the Horn of Africa, its impacts are being felt unevenly across geographies, time, and different groups of people. These impacts go beyond the immediate risk of infection, compounding existing vulnerabilities, crises and risks to create an economic crisis that will take longer to recover from than the illness itself.
It is not easy to estimate the total economic cost of the effects of climate change and pest infestation that have devastated millions of hectares of cropland across different African countries. Unfortunately, with no improvement on climate change, conflict, and the economic crisis in sight, their total impact on human livelihoods is likely to remain high and continue to grow for years to come.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been labelled alternatively as a potential geopolitical game-changer, or as an accelerator for trends which were already underway. For sure, the pandemic is acting as a threat-multiplier for countries that were already struggling with other threats, such as protracted conflicts, economic crises, and climate change. As the risk of a global food crisis looms, Africa and West Asia are the regions where this perfect storm is the most likely to happen.
Most countries along the BRI are developing countries and emerging economies. They account for 31 percent of the global GDP, but constitute about 62 percent of world’s population(1). At the same time, the ecological environment is very fragile, due to the distribution of most of the global biodiversity hotspots(2). 58 percent of the world’s deserts are also concentrated in this area(3). In a certain sense, the historical Silk Road is also an international transmission channel for dust and pollutants(4).
The COVID-19 lockdowns had an immediate and drastic impact on transport systems and mobility, in particular on the mobility patterns of people. Strict regulations imposed by governments around the world have affected the delivery of and demand for public transport services in and across many cities and countries as highlighted in Figure 1.
Past global catastrophes have shown us how public health crises force us to change how we design, build, and operate cities and infrastructure systems. The cholera epidemic, for example, in the 19th century led to the introduction of modern sanitation systems  . During the Industrial Revolution, housing regulations on air circulation and lighting were introduced as measures to avoid respiratory diseases in overcrowded houses in Europe.