As the COVID-19 crisis continues, progress on another global crisis, climate change, seems to have taken two steps backward.
We’ve seen a “tidal wave” of plastic waste and medical waste resulting in a collapse in waste management chains that worsens the problem. In agriculture, farmers have tragically been forced to destroy tons of milk and crops and euthanize livestock due to disruptions in the supply chain.
Seize the Day
But sometimes a crisis can lead to something better. Many in the private sector see it as an opportunity to “recover better,” according to the United Nations, which is rallying corporate partners to capitalize on the economic downturn to build a safer, greener, fairer and more resilient global economy.
As cities open streets to pedestrians to ensure social distancing, architects and designers, stuck at home for months, began radically rethinking the country’s densest cities with visionary plans that include more green energy infrastructure, sustainable housing, vertical agriculture and streets without cars.
25 Climate Actions
A recent report by the The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) focuses on solutions in five sectors that can tackle 90% of carbon emissions. The report, Green Recovery in the Age of COVID-19, outlines 25 actions that can get the world back on a track of decarbonizing economies around the globe. The OECD is an international organization that works to shape policy, with members from 37 countries, including the U.S.
The five sectors — agriculture, buildings, electricity, industry and transportation—intersect with five policy levers — investment, regulation, tax & subsidies, leading by example, and informing and educating — to produce 25 policy actions that can spur strong climate action coherently and fairly, the report says.
We already have the knowledge, tools and financial resources to implement these solutions, the report says. These solutions range from regulation, energy-related taxes, carbon pricing and government incentives for green technology to public and private investment in low-carbon resilient infrastructure, corporate responsibility and individual lifestyle choices.
Here are the 25 climate actions the world can take now, from the OECD’s report.