- Recovering from the socioeconomic shock of COVID-19 will not be easy.
- Effective decisions on where to put investment will be the key to unlocking greater prosperity for developing cities.
Serge de Gheldere (CEO and co-founder Futureproofed) and Oliver Harman (Cities economist - Cities That Work) discuss what actions developing cities could focus on to kickstart their economies while helping the global fight against climate change.
The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic was somewhat unprecedented. In recent times, we have not seen a similar situation where the whole world has come together and aligned in combating a singular threat. In most countries, our response has been dictated by fundamental principles – listening to scientists, and taking swift and decisive action. For climate scientists worldwide, who have fought with public and private decisionmakers for decades, it must surely offer a ray of hope.
It would be naïve to think that we can directly compare the COVID-19 crisis with the climate change crisis. The pandemic led to a situation where we could see its direct impacts very clearly – with media outlets reporting overcrowded hospitals and death rates on a daily basis. Climate change is a much slower process where many will not feel its true impacts for decades to come. With some impacts, such as the rise in coastal sea level, due to the 25-50 year delay between cause (emitting one ton of CO2 into the atmosphere) and effect (climate change), we are only now fully feeling the effects of CO2 accumulation up until the late 1980s. With other impacts, such as urban air pollution, there is very little delay, with the cause of emitting CO2 into the atmosphere felt by citizens imminently. With both cases, unfortunately, the worst is yet to come for future generations, although action today can invoke change.
Read the whole piece over at The IGC - International Growth Centre.
Serge is CEO and co-founder at Futureproofed. He believes that it’s within our power to reverse the climate crisis and build a fossil-free, circular economy. Taking action represents the biggest business opportunity of the century, and action will sort the winners from losers both in business and amongst cities and nations.
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