The global pandemic has had very significant effects on the global economies and our communities. Governments worldwide have deployed extraordinary measures to save lives and protect livelihoods. As we look to the future, many of those governments are now making commitments to a "green recovery" aimed at rebuilding their economies, creating jobs, and driving forward growth.
But what is a "green recovery" and why could it be important?
A green recovery focuses on long term policies and solutions that are designed to benefit both people and our planet. That involves measures which focus on safeguarding the environment, protecting ecosystems and addressing issues relating to climate but it also includes creating a resilient, sustainable and inclusive society.
Climate (and associated issues) is already widely acknowledged as one of the biggest challenges business, our economy and communities face. The UN climate talks (COP 26) were due to take place in Glasgow this month but have been delayed because of the pandemic until next year. Against that background, the Scottish Government set a target for reaching net zero emission of greenhouse gases by 2045 (with the rest of the UK aiming for 2050). Surpassing or achieving those targets will require very significant change and society will face difficult decisions along the way.
Both the UK and Scottish governments have linked their economic and policy response to and recovery from the global pandemic with green measures. This is potentially a very significant moment as government measures to support the economy in the aftermath of the pandemic will direct very significant amounts of funding and support to further green principles and embed them in our economies and communities. These extraordinary times might just have presented us with an opportunity to prioritise the process of addressing climate (and associated issues) as an integral part of rebuilding our economy and communities.
Our sector specialists will discuss what green recovery will mean for different industries in a series of blogs to be published over the next month. Link to their insights will be available here.