The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis. Efforts to contain the virus and support those directly affected are of utmost importance. At IISD, that means our first focus has been on the health and safety of our staff and our own efforts to flatten the curve.
As leaders, it is also our responsibility to look ahead and assess how the pandemic and the global recovery from it will affect the future of sustainable development.
In the months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, three things have become crystal clear:
- Resilience is essential. The lack of planning and preparation for the outbreak has starkly demonstrated the importance of resilience: the ability for human systems to anticipate, cope, and adapt. Lessons learned now can accelerate our efforts to become more resilient in the face of climate change and other stressors.
- We must act on this moment to “build back better.” As governments around the world race to implement support packages to keep individuals, businesses, and economies afloat, we must ensure these measures pave the way to a more sustainable economy and do not lock us further into a high-carbon future.
- Inequality is magnified, offering a window for change. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global shock that amplifies the corrosive impact of inequality, hitting the poorest and those without social safety nets the hardest. This has accelerated efforts to create more sustainable and inclusive economic systems that can improve well-being overall.
So, with all this in mind where do we go from here? Harnessing this moment to create a better, more sustainable world is our urgent task.
Task Force for a Resilient Recovery
Ensuring Canadian governments get the best advice on building a resilient economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sustainable Recovery 2020 Campaign
Advocating for public spending that minimizes impacts on nature, accounts for climate risks, improves social cohesion, and stimulates green innovation.
Energy Policy Tracker
Providing a detailed, real-world picture of the current state of support for different energy types in recovery packages around the world.
COVID-19 and Sustainable Development
Canada Can't Afford to Put Climate Adaptation on the Back Burner
Investing in climate adaptation measures is an opportunity to demonstrate foresight, show leadership, protect our economy, and keep Canadians safe.
Canada’s Long-Term Plan Sets a Course for a Strong, Resilient Recovery
In its Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada charted an important path forward, setting the course for clean economic growth.
Three Ways COVID-19 Shows Vulnerable Workers Need Stronger Social Protections
The mining sector hasn't been spared from COVID-19; with sites closing and mobility restricted, the livelihoods of vulnerable workers are in jeopardy. What can be done to ensure no one is left behind?
We Can Prevent a COVID-19 Hunger Crisis if We Look Back and Learn
The world now faces the risk of a dramatic rise in hunger, barely 12 years after the devastating food price crisis. What can be learned from the past?
Leaving No One Behind During COVID-19
In their COVID-19 responses, Canadian leaders are making public commitments to protect and prioritize vulnerable groups during the pandemic.
How COVID-19 Could Impact the Clean Energy Transition
Peter Wooders and Ivetta Gerasimchuk met virtually to discuss the impact that COVID-19 could have on the clean energy transition, from renewables to fossil fuel subsidies.
COVID-19 Shows How Canada Needs to Prepare for the Next Crisis
As communities across Canada grapple with the deadly and damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a rare window right now into how important it is to prepare for a crisis.
Protecting Against COVID-Related Investor–State Claims
This commentary takes stock of emergency measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 and provides governments with options for avoiding a surge of investor-state claims challenging those measures.
Doubling Down on Alberta's Oil and Gas Sector Is a Risk Canadians Can’t Afford to Take
There's no question that people across Alberta need urgent help. But is injecting tens of billions into oil and gas corporations the right kind of help?
Economic Stimulus Should Reward Front Runners on Sustainable Development
How can we ensure COVID-19 stimulus packages include targets on environmental performance, social cohesion, and economic governance?
Mining Tax Policy Responses to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis. The level and type of relief required will vary by sector, and company, which is why IGF and ATAF have prepared this guide in English, French, and Spanish for resource-rich developing countries specifically.
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