Blog

It is not easy to plan for the future during a pandemic or a recession. But this is 2020, and governments and businesses are working hard to navigate both challenges at once.

As they do so, it is incredibly important they cast aside the notion that the environment is a tangential concern.

The coronavirus outbreak that shut down most of the world is a zoonotic disease that jumped from wildlife to people, a symptom of growing conflict between human and natural systems.

Sustainability is the pathway to recovery and resilience

The global phenomena of the COVID-19 pandemic is tangible evidence of how an imbalanced ecosystem can bring massive economic damage and social inequalities, putting millions of lives and businesses at risk. In the long run and, more importantly, the environmental divide and degradation of natural ecosystems pose a significant risk to the viability of the global economic system. 

  • The best way to build resilience against future pandemics and the impact of climate change is to move to a circular economy.
  • Doing so could address 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions and provide a $4.5 trillion economic opportunity.
  • Here, the co-chairs of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy recommend four areas for businesses and policy-makers to focus on.

COVID-19 has created a human tragedy on a huge scale, with deep consequences for the global economy that will lead to an extended recession and long-term hardship.

Five years after the Paris Agreement was reached, the need for global action on climate change is clearer than ever. Calls for mitigation and a green economic recovery continue to catch headlines, even if in the margins of the COVID-19 newsreel.

Communities will act as a brake on the excesses of businesses that prioritize value for shareholders

The COVID-19 crisis has shaken up how we view the world. It has shown that many of our political and social structures are built on privilege and inequality, breaking through the clutter and smug self-satisfaction of our times, and turning the spotlight on what is truly important. 

Butterflies, nature and the business case for a resilient recovery from COVID-19

Edward Lorenz, best known as the father of chaos theory, famously hypothesized that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in the Amazon could set off a tornado in Texas. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, the bicycle is an unmatched rival to permit a more hygienic way to move around, contribute to a sustainable recovery of the economy, and support the transformation of urban transport towards decarbonization.

It is necessary to continue reclaiming the streets and public spaces, as we move forward in solving the climate crisis.

Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

There are three steps governments must take to demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding global commons and reducing the risk of cascading catastrophes.

There is no getting around it: the COVID-19 crisis will hit Africa’s people particularly hard. Even if the infection rate remains low, the socioeconomic devastation is already being felt. Access to clean water supply and basic health services remain a challenge throughout the continent, making the containment measures taken by most countries all the more challenging.

Cities are at the heart of the pandemic impact and response, and city leaders managing through the COVID-19 crisis have demonstrated commitment to integration, innovation, and partnership. GEF Cities Lead Aloke Barnwal makes the case that this approach will be critical to the future sustainability of cities, and argues for city-level recovery strategies that address the root causes of environmental degradation.