A Green Recovery

Wednesday 1st July 2020

Green Recovery
Investing in nature’s recovery for our economy, health and climate

Of the many lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to heed expert warnings and prepare for devastating outcomes is near the top. It is a lesson we ignore at mounting peril when it comes to the cascade of consequences heading our way because of climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity. In fact, many researchers today think that it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as Covid-19 to emerge.

In the nations recovery, following the pandemic, our collective ambition should therefore be that nature, and people’s health and wellbeing, should be drivers of government policy. It is worth remembering, Wales is one of the most nature-depleted countries on earth.

Nature provides us with a wealth of services, which form the building blocks of modern society. Contact with nature has proven to make us happier, healthier, more connected to each other, more energised, with an increased sense of meaning and purpose, as well as making tasks seem more manageable. Nature has been a source of great comfort and happiness to many people during lockdown. Many have been inspired to explore nature in their neighbourhood as they refocus on their immediate surroundings.

All economic activity ultimately depends on services provided by nature, making it an immensely valuable component of a nation’s wealth. The World Economic Forum even identified the global economic risks as extreme weather, climate policy failure and accelerating biodiversity loss. They state that “of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe.”.

Therefore, if we try to restart the old economy, we will leave ourselves open to the very real threats of the climate, ecological and health emergencies. 

Investing in nature’s recovery will help build a more resilient economy and healthier society. Wales’ economic recovery, after the COVID-19 crisis, must be centred on nature’s recovery.

New research, based on surveys of more than 200 of the world’s most senior economists and economic officials, suggests that “investment for ecosystem resilience and regeneration including restoration of carbon-rich habitats and climate-friendly agriculture could help achieve net-zero carbon and offer the best economic returns for government spending .

This is also popular with the public. Research has shown that two-thirds of peoiple in the UK consider climate change as serious an issue as Covid-19 and want tackling it to remain a priority. Also, fewer than 1 in 10 people want Britain to return to “normal” after lockdown is lifted with 85% of people wanting to see at least some of the personal or social changes they have experienced continue afterwards.

We now know that people make radical lifestyle changes very quickly, and very quickly they become the ‘new norm’. We must take advantage of the opportunity that we have, to do things differently, to create ‘transformative change’ to how we live, much of which would benefit nature as well as people and the economy.

Please see our thoughts on the principles of a green recovery below; 


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principles_and_tests_for_a_green_and_just_recovery.docx_.pdf612.58 KB

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