Green approaches to COVID-19 recovery: Policy note for parliamentarians

The consequences of COVID-19 and efforts to contain it have led to one of the most serious recessions in recent history, characterized by, among others, a decline in economic growth, decreased trade, low business revenues and massive layoffs. Projections indicate that, in the next two years, the global economy is expected to lose nearly US$ 8.5 trillion in economic output due to the pandemic. Understandably, the immediate focus for governments is economic recovery.

There is a link between habitat loss, environmental degradation and climate change on the one hand and, on the other, the emergence of novel zoonotic diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans, such as corona-viruses. This link calls for a sound environmental response to the pandemic. For the economic recovery to be effective and long lasting, it will need to reflect coherently all dimensions of sustainable development, including the environmental pillar. It will also need to address its effects on the most vulnerable, including women, children, persons with disabilities and marginalized communities.

…… parliamentarians have a critical role to play in ensuring economic recovery efforts are in line with environmental and development goals, and in seizing the opportunity to “build back better”.
This policy note sets out some of the key approaches that parliamentarians may wish to consider in promoting a sustainable and green recovery that will: help build more resilient economies; contribute to meeting countries’ international commitments under the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and build momentum towards a strong post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Source: UNEP and the Inter-Parliamentary Union