Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin on Tuesday said environmentally destructive investment patterns and activities must be avoided to ensure durable and resilient recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
He made the remark while addressing a webinar titled “Building a Clean and Resilient Recovery from the COVID-19” organised by Bangladesh and the United Kingdom Mission to the UN and World Resources Institute.
Shahab Uddin said a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery should be built, synced with advance national climate plans, long-term strategies and achievement of the SDGs.
“For the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to be durable and resilient, a return to environmentally destructive investment patterns and activities must be avoided,” he said adding that climate change and biodiversity loss could cause social and economic damage far larger than those caused by COVID-19.
He also emphasised inclusiveness which has been praised by the participants at large.
In the perspective of the “Paris Agreement,” he said the relative importance of various dimensions will likely vary across different country contexts.
He also said recovery packages to “build back better” include alignment with long-term emission reduction goals, factoring in resilience to climate impacts, slowing biodiversity loss and increasing circularity of supply chains.
Triggering investments and societal changes will both reduce the likelihood of future shocks and improve our resilience to those shocks when they do occur, whether from disease or environmental degradation, he added.
Minister Shahab Uddin also said prioritising short-term economic growth and efficiency over long-term resilience – can have huge societal costs. To improve public support, recovery policies need to be measured on more than just economic growth and total job creation.
Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister for the Environment for the United Kingdom; Keeyong Chung, Director General for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Scientific Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea; Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, Permanent Representative of Rwanda; Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica;Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Additional Secretary (Development Wing) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bangladesh, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Helen Mountford, Vice President, Climate & Economics, World Resources Institute was the moderator of the side event.