With all of the disruption in our lives from Covid-19 in 2020, the environment was impacted in major ways: animals not usually seen in city areas roamed the streets, there was a global drop in emissions, and ecosystems in many areas had time to regenerate. The fundamental human need for being in nature was felt by many, and yet the divisions between who had access to nature and who did not was exacerbated by quarantines and lockdowns. This article by the World Economic Forum, How to Create a Net-Zero, Nature-Positive Recovery, views all of the positive impacts on the environment during the past year as unfortunately temporary, and we could lose all of the positives of 2020 unless drastic action is taken to make net-zero and nature-positive policies as part of recovery and stimulus efforts.
The authors, Marie Quinney and Gabriela Martinez, acknowledged that seeing mountain goats on the streets in Wales, 30% reduced global emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and regenerated landscapes and waterways have been encouraging but could be lost as soon as economic activity returns to ‘normal.’ If not for the coronavirus, 2020 may have been known for environmental disasters, including wildfires, flooding, tropical storms, and the highest temperatures ever recorded. They suggest that nation’s recovery plans and stimulus packages should use this moment as an opportunity to ensure economic activity is regenerative, and not destructive to nature, that businesses reduce their carbon footprints, and create sustainable, equitable jobs. Effective policies could support net-zero emissions technologies and infrastructure, reduce fossil fuel subsidies, stop new coal plants, and promote nature-based solutions.
If you support this kind of approach and agenda, call or write to your representative, and have your voice heard!
Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty, Mountain goats in Wales
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