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 livelihoods of vulnerable workers are in jeopardy. What can be done to ensure no one is left behind?
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.
Global Stimulus Needed to Avoid COVID-19 Hunger Crisis
The loss of income for billions of people could be the most devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's directly connected to a pending hunger crisis.
Postponing Major Environmental Summits Is The Right Thing To Do
The decision to delay conferences in light of COVID-19 will not only protect public health, it may also lead to more equitable governance.
Coronavirus Is Impacting the International Environmental Agenda
COVID-19 has changed everything. But if we take the right steps and trust science, there's potential for a lot of good to happen.
Three Ways COVID-19 Is Shaping Sustainable Development
This pandemic and the global recovery from it will impact the future of sustainable development. Here are three key themes that are emerging.
The Time is Right for New, Low-Carbon Investments
Instead of a bailout for Canada's oil and gas sector, government and industry should pursue investments that will help develop new energy solutions and markets: IISD's Richard Florizone in The Hill Times.
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Sustainable Development Goals
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Technology and Innovation
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Governance and Multilateral Agreements
The frameworks that govern economies and our ecosystems touch every aspect of our lives—and have implications for sustainable, inclusive development.