Why Green Recovery from Coronavirus is necessary?

The world has turned upside down in 2020 by a virus called Coronavirus. Everything is halted, countries are under lockdown, people are dying, and many other unprecedented happenings are taking place. 

This is the biggest threat to humanity since World War II.


It is very immoral and shocking that it took a pandemic for us to realize that how beautiful our mother earth is. We have forgotten the beauty of nature. Air and water are so pure that our generation has not seen in a whole lifetime. In India, smog has dropped to a 20-year low. Himalayan mountains can be seen from hundreds of kilometers after many decades. The Ganga water is pure and clear. Pollution levels have dropped to unprecedented amounts all across the world. 

Coronavirus lockdown effects on air pollution

It was all because of lockdown in many countries to contain the virus.

Economies have plummeted which means the lockdown cannot be continued for too long. This means we are heading back to “old normal” or should I say to a polluted environment with bad air quality, dirty water bodies, etc. But as rightly said by Greta Thunberg ( a young climate activist ), “There is a lot of talk about returning to ‘normal’ after the COVID-19 outbreak, but normal was a crisis. ”

As countries start to recover from the effects of lockdown we have to make sure that the recovery should be made focusing on a sustainable future. As the UN Climate Chief said, “With this restart, a window of hope and opportunity opens… an opportunity for nations to green their recovery packages and shape the 21st-century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient” 

António Guterres (Secretary-General of the United Nations), proposed six-climate related actions to shape the recovery: 

First, the huge amounts of money to be spent on recovery from the coronavirus must deliver new jobs and businesses through a clean and green transition.

Second, where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it must be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth.

Third, fiscal firepower must drive a shift from the grey to green economy, empowering societies, and people to be more resilient.

Fourth, public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate. Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and polluters must start paying for their pollution.

Fifth, climate risks and opportunities must be incorporated into the financial system as well as all aspects of public policymaking and infrastructure.

Sixth, all need to work together as an international community.

Countries can take suggestions from this plan and modify accordingly to their requirment to ensure that recovery is greener.

The Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says that although COVID-19 may result in a temporary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, this does not substitute for sustained climate action. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations at key reporting stations remain at record levels. 

Now is the time to start redirecting the $5.2 trillion spent on fossil-fuel subsidies every year toward green infrastructure, reforestation, and investments in a more circular, shared, regenerative, and low-carbon economy.

Whenever there was earlier such kind of crisis, it was followed by much higher emission growth than before the crisis, to give a boom to the economy. But this cannot be the case this time because we are already on the verge of massive catastrophic changes in climate and this is the high time that we act to prevent climate change. 

“As we work through response and recovery from the shocks of the pandemic, the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] need to be designed into the DNA of global recovery” — UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner

This is a future not only worth imagining but worth fighting for. Such opportunities for huge progressive change are rare. Let’s act now for a greener, healthier, and more just world.

Why? Because we decide to create something better this time – a world that puts well-being for people and the planet first. We are a part of nature – by protecting it, we protect ourselves

My Opinion: 

It is not the case that there are no opportunities in the green energy sector. In fact, there were never such opportunities earlier in the green sector – a lot of job opportunities, cost-friendly solar and wind energy, and green innovations never seen before.

It is necessary that we prevent climate change because it is resulting in the melting of Permafrost which exposes humanity to many microbes that were trapped in ice for millions of years – this means more pandemics like the Coronavirus pandemic will be common in future.

So, just remember the clock is ticking very fast and there is very little time left to prevent climate change. We have to be together to fight against climate change because our unity is the most powerful weapon we have. 

References:

  1. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/covid19-coronavirus-climate-jennifer-morgan-greenpeace
  2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/un-general-covid19-sustainable-future/
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Yash

Yash loves to read and write on issues such as climate change, renewable energy, SDGs, and other related issues. He wants to make people aware of climate change and encourage them to follow a sustainable lifestyle.

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