Disrupted: How COVID-19 will Shape Climate Action

2020, Climate + Environment, Series Distant Not Disengaged

Climate justice groups have been fighting for years against the inequities that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed—from the overdose crisis, to the shuttering of small businesses, to housing challenges.

Simultaneously, we’re seeing government intervention and community organizing rapidly laying out a new blueprint for our collective futures: reduced car and air traffic, making communities more pedestrian and bike-friendly, food systems shifting to prioritize local producers and crops, and more trust between citizens and all levels of government. Does our response to COVID-19 represent an opportunity to make systemic change?

We know that we’ll never go back to the way things were. The question is: where are we going, and will we finally turn the dial on climate change on our way?

This online conversation will include guests from the worlds of municipal politics, green infrastructure, community energy, and climate justice. They’ll each identify the greatest COVID-19 disruption in their systems and communities and how it might relate to climate action moving forward.

Guiding questions

  • What major systemic disruption are you seeing right now, and how could that inform our climate action going forward?
  • How has COVID-19 changed the pace of the climate action you were working on—what has been fast-tracked, and what’s slowed down?
  • What COVID-19 action inspires you most in relation to building a climate just future?
  • Which COVID-19 disruption do you hope lasts forever? Why is this important for climate action?
Thu, 07 May 2020

12:00 - 1:15 p.m. (PT)

Online Event

Distant, Not Disengaged

Distant, Not Disengaged was created as an experimental and innovative online event series to illuminate the urgent issues and opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The series was a collaboration between SFU Public Square, the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and community partner CityHive.

Watch the Series Recap


Christine Boyle — City Councillor, City of Vancouver

Adriana Laurent-Seibt and Em Mittertreiner — UBC Climate Hub

Sherry Yano — Manager of Community Renewable Energy, David Suzuki Foundation

Calls to Action

Further Reading

Distant, Not Disengaged Final Report

Learn about the series’ impact on community connection and dialogue in this report featuring testimonials, media highlights, supporting resources and more.


Distant, Not Disengaged Events