‘A science-led, clean and resilient recovery will create employment in the industries of the future…’
Momentum for a post-pandemic ‘green recovery’ continues, with the UK government stressing its commitment to uphold the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Speaking at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Economic and Environmental Committee Meeting, held on 3 June 2020, the UK’s Second Secretary from the UK Delegation, Justin Addison, said; ‘As we recover, we have an opportunity to protect and restore nature, reducing our exposure to deadly viruses and climate impact.’
Looking forward to the rescheduled Conference of Parties (COP 26) to be held in Glasgow during November 2021, Addison said, ‘The new date gives the world the best chance of delivering an inclusive and ambitious COP. Bureau members were clear that a delayed summit, and the short-term impact, must not mean delayed action.’ The UK’s COP26 Presidency has nature and biodiversity as central themes and will focus on the importance of nature-based solutions, which the UK government says ‘Should be a win for livelihoods, climate and biodiversity.’
Highlighting the UK’s global outlook on addressing climate change Addison said, ‘The UK will soon announce a £64 million package to support Colombia to tackle deforestation and build a cleaner and more resilient economy in areas affected by Covid-19 and conflict.’
‘A science-led, clean and resilient recovery will create employment in the industries of the future, while ensuring we address the linked challenges of public health, climate change and biodiversity,’ he added.
The UK’s position aligns with a wider European shift to move to a more resilient and greener business model. Speaking at the end of May 2020, Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s Exective Vice President said, ‘Protecting and restoring biodiversity and natural ecosystems is also key to our health and wellbeing. It can boost our resilience and prevent the emergence and spread of future virus outbreaks. We have now seen that this relationship between us and the natural environment is key to our health.’
Timmerman’s comment was made during a press conference on Europe’s ‘Green and Just Recovery.’ He also used the event to highlight that reductions to investment in renewable energy and storage, clean hydrogen, batteries, carbon capture and storage and sustainable infrastructure had to be reversed.