Debate corner: COVID-19, the environment and climate

Article Published 07 Sep 2020 Last modified 11 May 2021
2 min read
Photo: © Sebastian Škoić, REDISCOVER Nature/EEA
How has the pandemic affected Europe's environment and climate? What can we expect in the months and years to come? What can be done to ensure that post-COVID economic recovery measures are fully aligned with Europe's long-term environment and climate goals? From latest knowledge developments to long-term policy considerations, the COVID-19 debates aim to bring expert knowledge and reflections on this topic to wider audiences.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) and Network of the Heads of European Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA Network) organised a series of virtual high-level debates, focusing on the impacts of COVID-19 and the challenges the pandemic poses to meeting long-term climate and environment goals.

Each debate was streamed live on the EEA's Facebook page. A selection of questions by our social media followers was put forth to our panellists. The debates were made available afterwards through this platform as well as our social media channels.

To watch all the debates, please see our YouTube playlist. You may access individual debates through the links included in the overview below. 


Debates overview



Event title


9 September 2020

A Sustainable Recovery —  National Perspectives

Dirk Messner | President, German Environment Agency UBA

Hans Mommaas | Director-General, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL

Watch the debate recording

24 September 2020
14.00-15.00 CEST

A Sustainable Recovery and the Green Deal — the EU Perspective

Sarah Nelen | Deputy Head of Cabinet Timmermans, European Commission

Jutta Paulus | Member of the European Parliament 

Watch the debate recording

8 October 2020
14.00-15.00 CEST

A Sustainable Recovery — the Scientific Perspective

Prof. Tim Lenton Director of Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter

Prof. Geert Schoeters | Flemish Institute for Technological Research VITO, University of Antwerp, EEA Scientific Committee Vice Chair 

Watch the debate recording

22 October 2020
14.00-15.00 CEST

COVID-19 and nature — the Planetary boundaries

Ester Asin | Director, European Policy Office, WWF 

Prof. Carsten Rahbek | Director Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate and Center for Global Mountain Biodiversity University of Copenhagen 

Watch the debate recording

5 November 2020
14.00-15.00 CET

COVID-19 and air quality-transport

Vincent-Henri Peuch | Head of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service and Deputy Director of the Copernicus Department at ECMWF / EEA Scientific Committee Member

Elisabetta VIGNATI | Head of Air and Climate Unit, Joint Research Centre

Watch the debate recording 

19 November 2020
14.00-15.00 CET

COVID-19 and environmental health

Dr Maria Neira | Director, Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health Department, WHO

Dr Aaron Bernstein | Interim Director, Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Watch the debate recording

3 December 2020
14.00-15.00 CET

COVID-19 and climate change

Jim Skea | Professor, Imperial College London's Centre for Environmental Policy; Co-chair of Working Group III - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 

Jaroslav Mysiak | Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici - Università Ca' Foscari Venezia; Director of the research division Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies

 Watch the debate recording

Corona generic


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage


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Filed under: covid-19
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