What’s Going On Here?
As we wait with anticipation for the UK government to release their plan on how current lockdown restrictions will be eased, there has been a great deal of debate on how we can foster a greener environment as we recover from the current COVID crisis.
What Does This Mean?
A recent study has highlighted that economic recovery packages that cut carbon emissions and stimulate economic growth deliver higher returns on investment for the government both in the long and short term. This comes after European politicians, companies, lawmakers and activists called for green investment in Europe to aid recovery post-lockdown.
So what could a green recovery look like?
- Directing economic recovery towards environmentally sustainable projects. This would include funding projects and businesses that are low-carbon, help solve climate and ecological problems and drive countries towards their net-zero carbon targets. .
- Providing stimulus and support to businesses with environmental strings attached. Many eco-advocates argue that any financial support should only be provided if the business commits to significant decarbonisation targets. This has already been enacted in France, where AirFrance was given a multi-billion euro payout with the proviso that it halved its overall carbon dioxide emissions per passenger-kilometre by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
- Not supporting fossil-fuel industries and/or aviation industries
Quite a radical one, but there has also been a call to stop funding these industries at all, as they are not in keeping with a green future. With fossil fuels and airline companies contributing significantly to climate change, it has been argued that these industries should not be rescued or financially supported, using this money to fund environmentally-friendly solutions and offer employment in green industries instead.
Why Should We Care?
Because in order to tackle some of the biggest environmental issues such as climate change, we arguably need to change the system within which our economy, and lives, operate within – the famous ‘System Change Not Climate Change’ argument.
The pandemic is certainly challenging our current system within which we live and work. As we begin to rebuild and recover, it is an opportune moment to establish a ‘new normal’ that helps our world tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues. With only 9% of Brits actually wanting life to return to normal – we may well be very open to embracing a green future!
However, this change is not going to happen organically. It needs active thought, collaboration and pressure from all areas of society – business, government and people – in order for the next stage of recovery to be green. Now is an opportunity for us all to be involved in the transition, and being aware of what is possible in the ‘new normal’ is the first step.
- Have a read of what the UN Secretary-General recommends for the world economies post-pandemic. Pretty strong stuff.
- From lines to circles – have a read of Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics and check out the EMF to understand how our economic system could be redesigned to be more sustainable, resilient and beneficial to people and planet!
- Check out Amsterdam’s green recovery plans – pretty neat! #inspo.