At some point in the future one might say, 2020 looked like the year when an unknown virus got out of control, killed hundreds of thousands and altered the way you live day to day.
In the future, one might look back at 2020 as the year you decided to take the last exit.
Taking the threat seriously would mean using the opportunity presented by this crisis to spend on solar panels and wind farms, push companies being bailed out to cut emissions and foster greener forms of transport in cities.
If we instead choose to fund new coal-fired power plants and oil wells and thoughtlessly fire up factories to urge growth, we will lock in a pathway toward climate catastrophe.
We find ourselves on the brink of climate catastrophe. This moment is not just about an opportunity, it is our last opportunity, it is your last opportunity.
We must work together to save lives, ease suffering, lessen the shattering economic and social consequences and bring climate change under control.
We must act decisively to protect people and planet from the existential threat of climate disruption.
There is no World in which humanity exists apart from nature; it is clearer than ever that our fates are intertwined, that our failure to accommodate nature has rendered the life support systems.
Choosing a pathway that builds resilience through nature seems like an investment we cannot afford not to make.
And yet, it is far from clear that we are ready to choose this pathway, perhaps because we have been so conditioned to view the protection of nature as something in conflict with advancing economic and social interests.
Short-sighted choices favor near-term expediency over long-term sustainability, extraction over regeneration, and accumulation over equity.
If we are able to expand our vision and see the system and its interdependencies for what they are, we will be able to operate in a world not of rigidity and scarcity, but of resilience and abundance.
We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future. We must deliver new jobs and businesses through a clean, green transition.
Where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth. Fiscal firepower must drive a shift from the grey to green economy, and make societies and people more resilient.
Public funds must be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate. Fossil fuel subsidies must end, and polluters must start paying for their pollution.