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How can we build a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery, and how can the recovery support and advance ambitious national climate plans, long-term strategies and achievement of the SDGs?

Tuesday, 07 July 2020

How can we build a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery, and how can the recovery support and advance ambitious national climate plans, long-term strategies and achievement of the SDGs? 

This is the question representatives from Bangladesh, Jamaica, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, World Resources Institute and Sustainable Energy for All addressed at a virtual side event on the margins of the 2020 UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 7th July. 

The COVID-19 and climate crises are monumental global challenges that when tackled in tandem, through the prism of sustainable and resilient development, create opportunities for policymakers, the public sector and civil society to use climate action to support rapid and inclusive recovery from COVID-19, framed around the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The decade of climate action and delivery for sustainable development provides a key opportunity for countries to lay the groundwork for a brighter low-carbon future.

Lord Goldsmith, UK Minister of Environment, said:

“As countries respond to COVID-19, the coming months are crucial for climate and the 2030 agenda. Decisions that we take now are going to have impacts for decades to come. Countries developed and developing alike, international institutions, donors and civil society, must now work together to show international leadership for a green and resilient recovery that delivers on the promise of the SDGs.”

Damilola Ogunbiyi, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, said:

“There has never been a better time to invest in clean, efficient renewable energy. Countries that recover better with sustainable energy will see the pay off in the form of resilient economies, new jobs, and faster energy development. By making this investment, forward-thinking countries will develop a competitive advantage.”

The panel argued that governments should use all the tools at their disposal to protect lives and livelihoods and build safer, more sustainable and more inclusive societies that leave no one behind. They assessed how countries can deliver enhanced NDCs and long-term climate strategies in the lead-up to COP26, and measures to strengthen adaptation and resilience to future shocks.

Mr. Keeyong Chung, Director General for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Scientific Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, said:

“Considering the unprecedented severity of the damages caused by COVID-19, we need equally unprecedented measures to recover from it. The Korean New Deal package is Korea’s bold response, putting the Green New Deal at the heart of it. Through such measures, we hope to recover better and greener while making efforts to achieve the longer-term SDGs and Paris Agreement targets.”

Ambassador Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica, said:

"For us in Jamaica everything that we do today, from our COVID-19 response to climate action, is anchored in our deepest commitment to continue on our path towards sustainable, low carbon and resilient development. With the submission of Jamaica’s enhanced climate targets, we are hoping to make clear to the world, the importance of collective action and the urgency we place in joining global efforts to respond to climate change despite other challenges."

Recording of event: https://www.wri.org/events/2020/07/webinar-building-clean-and-resilient-recovery-covid-19

Mary Anderson | Policy Advisor| UK Mission to the United Nations

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Cell: +1 (917) 957 4872 | email:mary.anderson@fco.gov.uk