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Thursday, 16 July 2020

$10 Trillion 'Green' Covid-19 Recovery

The WEF said that prioritizing the environment during economic recovery could create 400MN JOBS.

Environment recovery in Covid-19


• Tackling the global nature crisis could create 400m jobs and $10 trillion in business value each year by 2030, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

• The report further warns that when the world recovers from the pandemic, there can be no business-as-usual, as climate change threatens markets, supply chains and operations. 

• While three sectors - food and land use, infrastructure and building, and energy and mining - are primarily responsible for endangering species, these could gain the most through a nature-led recovery. 


• The economic crisis due to the pandemic has caused unemployment to spike, economic growth forecasts to be revised downward, and supply chains to be disrupted. 

• Countries, struggling to stay on their developmental trajectory, are responding by allocating trillions of dollars to fiscal stimulus packages and beginning to develop longer-term economic recovery programs.  

• While the US has announced over $9 tn and Japan over $2 tn, the packages are hardly 'green' and have been called 'detrimental' in the long run by economists and environmentalists alike.


• If Green Stimulus Indices be analysed, it becomes evident that European nations are prioritising climate during recovery. 

• Experts emphasize that countries must, at least, ensure that short-term economic recoveries do not accelerate deterioration, leaving humanity more vulnerable to the climate.


• Another WEF report in July concluded that almost a third of the world's land and oceans could be protected while bolstering the economy. 

• The report proposes a range of measures for boosting economies: from cutting food waste by providing metal silos and crates to keep food from rotting, to better management of wild fish to boost catches - adding 14m jobs and $170bn in value. 

• Moreover, in cities, retrofitting to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy could save $825bn by 2030.


Nature-Based Solutions Can Deliver Big Economic Benefits

Mountains, Forest & Watersheds

Solution: Protect and restore forests to store carbon, stabilize, soil and slow water runoffs during intense rainfall

Economic Benefits: Every dollar invested in restoring degraded forests would create $7-$30 in benefits

River & Wetlands
Solution: Restore wetlands to absorb and filter food waters, store carbon, and provide clean water 

Economic Benefits: Wetland ecosystem provide services worth up to $15 trillion, Including flood protection, fisheries habitat, and water purification. 


Solution: Restore degraded agricultural land to produce more food for more people

Economic Benefits: Restoring 160 million hectares of land would create $84 billion in annual economic benefits globally


Solution: Expand green spaces and restore forests and watersheds in and around cities to lower heat and reduce food risks

Economic Benefits: Restoring upland forests and watersheds could save water utilities in the world's 534 largest cities an estimated $890 million each year 


Solution: Protect and restore mangroves, marshes, and reefs to buffer coasts from storms, absorb floodwaters, and capture carbon

Economic Benefits: Protecting and restoring mangroves could create $1 trillion in net benefits globally by 2030 

Source: Verdone and Seidl, Roots of Prosperity (Forests): Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Rivers & Wetlands): A.Wu. How Can Restoring Degraded Landscapes Delver Financial Returns? (Famland): The Nature Conservancy. Beyond the Source (Cities: Global Commission on Adaptation, Adapt Now (Coasts) 


• Providing jobs in ways that protect and restore ecosystems on which economies depend while transitioning to low-carbon economies is essential. 

• The good news: climate-resilient investments may deliver higher economic returns than investments in traditional infrastructure and fossil fuels.


• Countries across the globe are already placing nature at the centre of their approach - Germany included €700 mn to support forest conservation while New Zealand aims to create 11,000 jobs through restoring wetlands. 

• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was a good example of this sort of policy, creating an average of 17 jobs per million dollars spent. 

• As nations address the impacts of COVID-19, WEF encourages the prioritizing of environmental systems, especially in countries such as India where a third of the GDP is dependent on nature.

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