As the coronavirus pandemic has sent governments scrambling to respond, many politicians have drawn a parallel with another global threat: climate change.

“We have to act dramatically, boldly, if we’re going to save lives in this country and around the world,” Bernie Sanders, one of the Democratic presidential contenders, said recently. “I look at climate change in the exact same way.”

Yet while the principles may be the same, the politics of the two pressing challenges are very different.

The analogies between the coronavirus and climate change are easy to understand. The radical measures adopted to fight the pandemic look like precedents for addressing the potentially greater danger from climate change.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, has suggested that the need

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