Trillions of dollars will be invested by governments around the world in the next few years as they seek to rebuild their economies. But one very important thing to think about is how and where those dollars should be spent. It is vital that we all put pressure on our governments and continue to hold them to account. It is only through a concerted effort from all sectors of society that we can all work towards a truly green recovery.
This year was meant to be the year of major breakthroughs in addressing the issues of climate change and biodiversity loss. Of course, this year will instead be remembered as the year of Covid 19. But those other crises have not gone away. It is vital that we keep them in mind as we seek to build back better and make our way towards a green recovery.
It is easy to get carried away by coverage that celebrates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 10% due to the health crisis, or reports of cleaner air and waterways, and the return of nature to our environments during lockdowns. Unfortunately, it has already become clear in some jurisdictions that we risk this being only a short-lived respite. All of those silver linings to this difficult time will quickly dissipate unless we all begin doing things very differently.
There are many big corporations and interests invested in going back to 'business as normal'. But business as normal simply won't cut it if we truly stand a chance of building resilient, regenerative and sustainable systems that can stand the test of time. The massive disruptions of Covid 19 have taught us that change, and rapid change, is possible.
The companies that have performed best during the Covid 19 crisis are those who already had expansive and comprehensive environmental social and governance (ESG) measures in place. So we need to do away with the idea that the green agenda is somehow 'bad for business'. We need to recognise that an economic recovery can, and must, go hand in hand with conservation, environmentalism and social justice for all.
Removing the fragilities in all our societal systems is crucial if humanity is to stand a chance. This means looking not only at big business and the financial bottom line, but at the triple bottom line, which acknowledges real and lasting value, and also takes humanity, and the environment, into account.
By thinking about these things, and using our voices, we can help to make sure we don't miss the chance to have right now to change things for the better on national and global scales. We can make sure that rather than looking out for the commercial interests of the few, we are working towards a green recovery for all.