Can the planet afford us to go back to business as usual?

It’s been 6 months since the first signs of COVID-19 surfaced. It has created terrible human and economic consequences, but we’re finally on the path to recovery. As the pandemic slowly and painfully subsides, it is worth noting that we cannot and must not return to business as usual.

Change is on its way

Mayors from many of the world’s leading cities have warned there can be no return to “business as usual” in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis if humanity is to escape catastrophic climate breakdown. City leaders representing more than 750 million people have published a “statement of principles”, which has them committing to putting climate resilience at the heart of their recovery plans.

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City and one of the signatories to the statement, said: “Half-measures that maintain the status quo won’t move the needle or protect us from the next crisis. “We need a new deal for these times – a massive transformation that can rebuild lives, promotes equality and prevents the next economic, health or climate crisis.”

Many cities have already announced measures to support a low-carbon, sustainable recovery, from hundreds of miles of new bike lanes in Milan and Mexico City to widening pavements and pedestrianizing neighbourhoods in Montreal, Toronto, New York and Seattle.

We need to come out of this embracing a new normal and with a renewed drive to address the climate emergency.

Let’s start now

We’ve never had a better chance to make a greener world. Covid-19 has delivered unusual environmental benefits: cleaner air, lower carbon emissions, a respite for wildlife. Now the big question is whether we can capitalize on this moment.

We saw potential in the kinds of sustainable cities we could achieve, one where people, planet and profits can co-exist and hopefully thrive.

Remember, the daily commodities we consumed so mindlessly, available on-demand and purchasable with money. For years, we’ve used and wasted with no regard to its origin and destination, its priced value and its irreplaceable source. The pandemic has allowed us to pause and reflect on this and plan a world where we live more sustainably.

Today, let’s get rid of the global supply chain. Let’s buy local, let’s get our inventory from a company in our neighbourhood. For a greener future, let’s start now.     Sources : Thai Enquirer / The guardians

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