There is no evidence of a direct connection between climate change and the emergence or transmission of COVID-19 disease. As the disease is now well established in the human population, efforts should focus on reducing transmission and treating patients.
However, climate change may indirectly affect the COVID-19 response, as it undermines environmental determinants of health, and places additional stress on health systems. More generally, most emerging infectious diseases, and almost all recent pandemics, originate in wildlife, and there is evidence that increasing human pressure on the natural environment may drive disease emergence. Strengthening health systems, improved surveillance of infectious disease in wildlife, livestock and humans, and greater protection of biodiversity and the natural environment, should reduce the risks of future outbreaks of other new diseases.
Originally published in WHO Newsroom