Covid-19 Rescue Plans and Going Green

Teresa Madaleno:

It is completely understandable that the world is focused on Covid-19, specifically human health and the health of the economy; however, in the midst of the pandemic, there are calls to not forget about the environment.

Speaking with reporters at the popular UK publication, The Guardian, Mary Robinson, the former Irish President said that while governments around the world need to dedicate large amounts of money to helping secure jobs and stabilize the economy, “they must do it with a very strong green emphasis.”

Representatives from Greenpeace agree. They insist that it makes no sense to prop up ailing sectors with fossil fuel-based solutions when the future of those sectors is already in jeopardy due to climate change. In a recent interview with Prospect Magazine, John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace UK stated: “Bailing out the shareholders of dirty industries to continue business as usual rather than protecting workers and their families means we would have learnt nothing from the bank bailout during the financial crisis.”

Many environmentalists across the world are calling on governments to not forget about the climate crisis amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Jobs will be a major focus as countries come out of the Coronavirus nightmare. In the United States a business survey conducted in early March indicated that 24 percent of employers were planning to downsize if the outbreak worsens. Millions of jobs are expected to be lost in the leisure and hospitality sector in countries around the world. Other sectors will also be hit hard with layoffs.

Those who promote sustainability have talked about the transition away from fossil-fuel dependent jobs and into long-term low carbon jobs. The Coronavirus gives leaders the opportunity to call for a scaling up of greener energy technologies, thus creating jobs all along the supply chain.

Flattening the Covid-19 curve is a matter of life and death, but we also have to flatten the global emissions curve for health sake. It will take planning and dedication by governments, businesses, and individuals to achieve these goals.