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Six climate-related actions to recover from the coronavirus by UN Chief António Guterres

On the 20th of April, in light of International Earth Day on the 22nd, UN Chief António Guterres spoke to the world about the “biggest test the world has faced since the Second World War”. The corona virus has spread globally, and every country is doing their outmost best to fight it. He calls for world to work together to save lives, ease suffering and lessen the shattering economic and social consequences.


His message, however, not only focusses on the corona pandemic. The planet’s unfolding environmental crisis is another deep emergency. We are losing much of our biodiversity and the climate disruption is approaching a point of no return. Recovering from this corona virus will be challenging, but we need to turn it into an opportunity to do things right for the future. Mr. Guterres therefore proposes 6 climate-related actions to shape the recovery and the prudent work ahead.


1.     The money spent on the recovery of the corona virus should be spent towards a green transition, delivering new jobs and businesses.

2.     The money used for rescuing businesses needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth.

3.     Fiscal firepower must drive a shift from the grey to green economy and make societies and people more resilient.

4.     Public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate. Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and polluters must start paying for their pollution.

5.     Climate risks and opportunities must be incorporated into the financial system as well as all aspects of public policy making and infrastructure.

6.     We need to work together as an international community.


These 6 principles should be the guidelines on how we can get through this crisis in a sustainable way. Together we can shape a better future for the people and the planet.

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