Adviser's Note - To Build Back Better

Adviser's Note - To Build Back Better


Yvo de Boer

If we go by the economic crisis of 2008, the chances that we will be able to use the ‘opportunities’ to Build Back Better after the pandemic are pretty slim. Rich countries have spent vast amounts of money to keep their economies afloat. Poorer nations’ ability to spend on anything other than the most essential is vastly reduced.

Probably the main lesson we should learn from the failure of the environmental community to successfully convince is that our focus has been on arguments that appeal to us, rather than those taking the real decisions on the future of our economy, ecology and society. We cannot continue to rely on the economic models that are based on resource intensive growth, by taking yet another mortgage on the global commons.

If we look at successful environmental arguments, there is either a realistic alternative (like the alternative to Ozone-depleting substances), or a cheaper alternative (like wind and solar) or other imperatives that respond better to conventional reasoning (air quality and health costs). I personally feel, we need to use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a vehicle to judge investments (of any kind) against a broader set of objectives.

Mr.Yvo de Boer is the President of Gold Standard Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by WWF. He was formerly the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).