After the pandemic, only a green and fair recovery can save the planet
If we add up the various stimulus packages launched at the international level to get out of the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus - 750 billion euros of Next Generation Eu, the financial support instrument launched by the European Commission, the 1,800 billion dollars of the Heroes Act developed by the White House, the 108 trillion yen put on the table by Japan, which corresponds to a quarter of its GDP, we arrive at a total of between 10,000 and 12,800 billion euros. An impressive volume of money, which could really give a turning point in the life of the Planet and people. Too bad, however, that only a residual portion - between 3 and 5% - is currently earmarked for the green transition.
This is what emerges from a new report by the C40 network, the alliance of mayors of the world's major cities. It also paints a picture of what our societies could become if these funds were invested in a green and fair recovery. A green and fair recovery is able to create over 50 million jobs among the almost one hundred cities of the C40 network and their supply chain. About a third more than those that would be generated simply by maintaining the current polluting infrastructure. With accelerated reconstruction, on the other hand, it could reach 80 million.
Air pollution in large urban areas would fall by almost 30 per cent, avoiding 270,000 premature deaths over the next decade. The economic benefits associated with saving these lives are estimated at $280 billion. At the same time, the possibility of a new pandemic similar to the coronavirus pandemic would be removed, since - as has been amply demonstrated in the scientific literature - the destruction of natural habitats promotes the 'species jump' from animal to human. A healthier population is also a lighter burden for public health systems, which have already been severely tested in recent months. In detail, the lower number of hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory syndromes would correspond to a saving of 1,400 billion dollars.
Continuing with business as usual, greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are set to increase. With green reconstruction, however, they could be halved between 2020 and 2030. This puts us on track to contain the rise in global average temperatures to within 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, as provided for in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Covid-19 has laid bare the deep-rooted inequalities in our economies, societies and legislations. Mayors know that it will not be enough to return to normality: we need to build healthier, more resilient and inclusive cities around the world. While we must continue to focus on preventing the further spread of the virus and responding to the immediate needs of our affected communities, we are also called upon to provide a long-term vision and prepare as best we can, a green and fair recovery is the only possible. (source: lifegate.it)
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