Building back greener - international environmental protection and achieving the SDGs in the context of COVID 19 (Multi-stakeholder Dialogue)

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The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated already existing multiple challenges related to unsustainable consumption and production patterns. Environmental degradation, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution contributed the conditions that led to an increase in the type of animal-to-human zoonosis underlying the pandemic.

While some may argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has been “good for the environment”, there is no certainty that the post COVID economic recovery will be “greener” and beneficial for the environment.

However, the response to the crisis presents a unique opportunity to support improved social protection measures, and a just transition to a sustainable, no-carbon economy founded on renewable energy, environmentally sound technology, sustainable resource use, community empowerment and livelihoods of dignity.

This Multi-stakeholder Dialogue between member states representatives and stakeholders considered lessons learned from the Covid pandemic, including “push factors” (i.e. policy requirements) and “pull factors” (i.e. change in culture and behaviors) to achieve a recovery from the Covid crisis that will also benefit the environment. Ultimately, this will make similar incidents less likely in future.

Stakeholder representatives:

  • Gitika Goswami, Development Alternatives Group, India
  • Anastasia Swearingen, Director, Global Affairs, America Chemistry Council
  • Bruno Oberle, Executive Director, IUCN
  • Alejandra Parra , Zero Waste and Plastics Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean for GAIA and Break Free from Plastics

Other speakers included governmental respondents and respondents from Major Groups and Stakeholders.

Organized by: The Green Economy Coalition; UNEP