Coronavirus recovery

 

June 2020

This page has been set up to explore issues and opinions around the idea that recovery from Covid-19, when it comes, offers an opportunity to 'bounce forward' (Rob Hopkins), or 'Build Back Better' - particularly with regard to reducing inequality and taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change - rather than just reverting to 'business as usual'.


>HC recognises need for Green Recovery
>FM statement and recovery route map
>TBI signs NEF 'Build Back Better' statement

>TBI responses to Scottish Government
>Committee on Climate Change six principles
>Rob Hopkins - We must 'bounce forward'
>George Monbiot - We must re-think eduction
>Build Back Better and Green New Deal UK
>Anne Orford - After Covid-19, the Climate


June 2020

SG committee inquiry into Green Recovery

29.06.2020  Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has launched an inquiry into how Scotland can ensure that a green, just and resilient recovery is central in our response to the social and economic challenges of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Read more

The Committe's call for views     (closing date  7 August)

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June 2020

Highland Council recognises need for Green Recovery to meet climate change commitments

Highland Council has issued a press release  'recognis[ing] the pressing need to build on positive behaviour changes and emissions reductions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate the region’s shift to a net zero carbon future, following on from the significant changes which have resulted from the response to date.' 

Read the press release

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24 June 2020

First Minister's statement and updated recovery route map

During First Minister's Questions at a Hybrid session of parliament during the last week before the summer recess, Nicola Sturgeon made a statement summarising the latest Covid-19 situation in Scotland and outlining the updated 'road map' for the easing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland.

First Minister's statement

Updated recovery 'route map'

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June 2020

TBI signs New Economics Foundation 'Build Back Better' statement

Polling commissioned by the New Economics Foundation shows that just 6% of the public want things to go back to how they were before the Covid-19 crisis.

Inviting support for the 'Build Back Better' statement, which TBI directors have agreed to sign, NEF CEO Miatta Fahnbulleh writes

"Today more than 350 organisations have come together to call for a new settlement that protects vital public services, repairs inequalities, creates good jobs and tackles the climate emergency.
.   .   .   
"They’ve been brought together by the New Economics Foundation, working with a number of other great organisations, for the launch of #BuildBackBetter.
.   .   .  
"A statement is one thing. Turning it into practical policies and building our strength to achieve change is another. But the statement is a start – especially when it’s supported by such a diverse and powerful cross-section of society – and now we will rise to the challenge of making it a reality."

Read the 'Build Back Better' statement

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May 2020

TBI signs 'Just & Green Recovery' letter to FM, and responds to Scottish Government recovery consultation

TBI has added our signature to a letter to first Minister Nicola Sturgeon, organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland and supported by Transition Scotland.  The letter asks for a meeting with her to urge the importance of taking the opportunity which will be offered by the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis to build a juster and greener society in Scotland, rather than just returning to 'business as usual'
 

"The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare how inequality is lethal to human life, but it has also shone a light on acts of solidarity and cooperation and centred the vital role of public services, key workers and unpaid carers. Amidst a global threat to human rights and democracy, this crisis has also brought forward the possibility of an economic revival that ensures resilience to future crises, including the climate emergency.

"The recovery from Coronavirus is a rare chance to markedly accelerate the repurposing of government away from the prioritisation of economic growth and towards goals of wellbeing and sustainability, ending inequality and environmental destruction. This is a time for system change."


Read the letter in full      

List of signatory organisations
 

SG Advisory Group on Economic Recovery consultation

"The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery has been established by the Scottish Government to provide independent expert advice on supporting the sectors and regions of Scotland's economy to recover from the impact of Covid-19 .   .   .  the Advisory Group wants to hear your views on the current context and the interventions that will make the most positive difference to Scotland’s economic recovery in order to inform their recommendations"

TBI director Julian Paren has submitted a very full response to the consultation questionnaire on behalf of TBI.

Read Julian's response

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May 2020

Committee on Climate Change demands urgent action on six key principles for a resilient recovery

In letters to the Prime Minister and First Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Committee on Climate Change sets out six key principles to rebuild the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic whilst delivering a stronger, cleaner and more resilient economy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are integral to the UK’s recovery package, the Committee says.

The six principles in outline

  1. Use climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs
  2. Lead a shift towards positive, long-term behaviours
  3. Tackle the wider ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change
  4. Embed fairness as a core principle
  5. Ensure the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk
  6. Strengthen incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes.

The letter in full

What is the Committee on Climate Change?

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May 2020

Rob Hopkins - We must 'bounce forward' from Coronavirus

 

Rob Hopkins, cofounder and leading voice of the Transition movement, has written a blog highlighting the response of Transition groups around the world to the Covid-19 crisis, and pointing out that in some cases these local initiatives have been ahead of their governments' actions.  He writes

"Central to the Transition movement from the outset has been the idea of resilience. Usually framed as the ability to ‘bounce back’, it is seen in the Transition movement as being better imagined as the capacity to ‘bounce forward’, i.e. to use it as the opportunity to move forward to something better. How then to ‘bounce forward’ from COVID-19 in such a way that we also move to a way of doing things consistent with the scale of the climate crisis?"

Read the blog

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May 2020

George Monbiot - We must re-think education

 

Imagine mentioning William Shakespeare to a university graduate and discovering they had never heard of him. You would be incredulous. But it’s common and acceptable not to know what an arthropod is, or a vertebrate, or to be unable to explain the difference between an insect and spider. No one is embarrassed when a “well-educated” person cannot provide even a rough explanation of the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle or the water cycle, or of how soils form.

All this is knowledge as basic as being aware that Shakespeare was a playwright. Yet ignorance of such earthy matters sometimes seems to be worn as a badge of sophistication. I love Shakespeare, and I believe the world would be a poorer and a sadder place without him. But we would survive. The issues about which most people live in ignorance are, by contrast, matters of life and death.

Read the full article     The Guardian    12 May 2020
The deficiencies of our democracy        Guardian  3 June 2020

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May 2020

Build Back Better  and  Green New Deal UK

The campaign for a coronavirus recovery plan that builds back better.
 
Let’s not go back to normal. It’s time for a new deal that protects public services, tackles inequality in our communities, provides secure well-paid jobs and creates a shockproof economy which can fight the climate crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down, exposing major weaknesses in our economy and the deep-seated inequalities in our society that mean the most vulnerable people have been hit the hardest.

But what we do next could change everything. As the world recovers, we have a chance to reset the clock and build back better than before.

‍Build Back Better demands

website  https://www.buildbackbetteruk.org/


The Build Back Better campaign is hosted by Green New Deal UK .

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March 2020

After Covid-19, the Climate  

Anne Orford        London Review of Books   17 March 2020

Could our reaction to Covid-19 teach us how to approach climate change?

"By late last year, it seemed clear that decades of attempts to coax governments and business leaders into taking seriously the risks posed by the climate crisis were leading nowhere. Yet faced with the far more immediate threats posed by a global pandemic, states that for decades had been committed to neoliberal thinking have slowly begun to embrace such radically old-fashioned ideas as planning for the future, relying on scientific expertise, or calling on their constituents to make sacrifices in order to protect vulnerable members of society."

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/march/after-covid-19-the-climate

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