Swedish activist Greta Thunberg joined calls for a combined effort to tackle coronavirus and the climate crisis, saying the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday was the time to choose a "new way forward."

Dramatic improvements in air and water quality as coronavirus lockdowns have cut pollution have prompted calls for a low-carbon future, but the need to get millions back to work is clouding the picture for the future.

Thunberg, taking part in a streamed event to mark Earth Day, said the extraordinary measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus did not mean the climate crisis had gone away.