On June 17th, Chairman Ban Ki-moon’s op-ed was released on Financial Times.
While he headed the UN, Chairman Ban has witnessed people suffering from the consequences of climate change. “I understood that our relationship with nature will ultimately decide our fate,” he said. He realized that the global challenges are interlinked, and that they cannot be solved without solidarity. The unprecedented pandemic crisis proves that these lessons were true, that we are all interconnected. Yet the international society is shredding to pieces, divided and inward-looking.
World leader are now seeking recovery packages and their decisions will determine how green our future will be. Climate change and Covid-19 are interlinked, one deteriorating the other. But the improved air quality by national lockdowns has shown how political mandate and health imperative can change our behavior. As we return to our daily routine the economy will refunction, and at the same time air pollution will worsen, simply triggering another health crisis.
Governments must take action to address this issue, by inducing industries to clean technology and renewable energy, and refraining from fossil fuel. Chairman Ban mentioned global cities that are practicing these ideals by encouraging people to walk on foot and ride bicycles, and investing in public transportation infrastructure. “These ideas need to be expanded and repeated elsewhere, with backing from national governments,” he said.
In the meantime we notice states like the US and China that are lifting environmental sanction during the pandemic. If such practices continue, or if we go back to business as usual after the coronavirus, it would be destructive for our environment. Korea is developing a Green New Deal project to draw a new picture for the post-COVID era. It plans to align the UN SDGs goals into our future, tackling climate change and eradicating poverty.
“The pandemic has taken a heavy toll, but it could be just be a taste of things to come. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to build back better.”
The following international events such as G20 meeting in July, Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on September 7th, and 2021 COP26 summit will be our chance to address this issue. Governments must utilize these opportunities to mainstream climate change into their recovery plans. “This will not be easy, but it can and must be done,” asserted Chairman Ban.
To read the original article “It is critical to design out Covid-19 recovery for green challenges”, visit Financial Times Website