Chopped by Abel Balongo
© UN Environment Management Group (27/04/2021)

COVID 19 and Green Recovery; Key strategies.

SDG 9 SDG 13 SDG 15

It is no doubt that Covid-19 is having a big impact on most countries, both developed, and upcoming economies.

Whereas it is a health issue, the economic impact is very significant hence necessitating a need to define a clear road-map on the pandemic recovery that will be responsive to the needs of future Green economy. As the pandemic continues to ravage most nations, it is very possible that the recovery by most countries will require a lot of energy use, strain on Natural resources as more land will be required for Agriculture, need for more manufacturing capacity to sustain the impoverished populations and create employment, growth of health sector and a very high demand for clean water to sustain the developing sectors domestically and commercially.
All these factors combined, can easily negate all the gains that have already been so far made on green economy.

The UN Environment Management Group defined thematic areas among other key development mechanisms should be clearly implemented specifically in emerging markets like Brazil, most developing African Countries and Parts of Asia.
The road map identifies the below key development strategies across different sectors;
1. An energy shift from Fossil intensive to Renewables - as much energy will be required during recovery, countries should build capacity to utilize wind, solar and bio-fuels, at the expense of fossil fuel driven systems.
2. Development of Natural capital/Ecosystem restoration (Agriculture) - Future Agri-systems, should focus on alternative production mechanisms e.g. solar energy driven green - houses, adoption of high producing and less space demanding livestock systems through adoption of ICTs in Agriculture.
3. Green buildings - the construction sector, to adopt low energy demand buildings e.g. natural lighten buildings, water recycling systems, solar powered systems etc.
4. Development of efficient Transport systems - Mobility is very key in economic development system, and after Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for travel is expected to increase rapidly. Most emerging economies like Brazil and African Nations, have a very small transport carbon foot-prints currently. If not checked, the high demand for transportation systems post covid-19, might easily exacerbate the runaway carbon emissions.
5. Connectivity - research and development - the pandemic has transformed the world into a global village. Post covid-19 pandemic strategies, should embody heavy investment in sustainable ICT infrastructure, research and development.

All these five strategies, together with climate financing for green economy, have a possible impact of foot printing carbon emissions, improving Agricultural productivity, creating job opportunities, conserving ecosystems and ensuring overall economic growth.

Steven Stone
Chief of UN Environment's Resources & Markets Branch (R&M), UNEP
Chopped by

Abel Balongo