Looking for the silver lining, if one could say that amidst the coronavirus, were the reduced numbers of emissions and the opportunity that had been presented to alter the financial situation and turn into a “greener” approach.
However, as we go through this recovery phase, emissions are back again in an accelerating mode, witnessing that earlier reductions are already overshadowed. On that note, it is unfortunate the incapacity on behalf of some countries to maintain the dropped emission levels and that is critical in terms of missing the momentum to get a more zero-carbon future and a greener economic recovery.
MENA seems to be the region that has been hit the hardest due to its extreme hot temperatures and air polluted cities. According to a World Bank study, more than 100,000 people are estimated to have a lower life expectancy every year due to ambient air pollution levels. Additionally, high air pollution has caused in the region some major financial consequences with the yearly labor losses to reach US$9 billion.
One of the most significant lessons taught during Covid-19 crisis was responsiveness and that is the best course of action to a next crisis in order to be prevented. Limited actions to a looming warm climate would be nothing but cost ineffective on the long run. From an environmental and economic perspective, business models need to adapt to being more resilient and enforce recovery strategies and policies such as restoration of carbon-rich habitats; resource efficiency; integrated land management systems; sustainable agriculture; and clean energy production in order to establish growth in sustainability.
It is highlighted that in the context of being proactive and preventive, a wise action to be taken is training on sustainability issues, how to identify, assess and then prioritize material issues. The training is the first step in an iterative process. The Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2020, November 3, 4 and 5, DIGITAL VERSION teaches participants on how to think ahead and solve an issue before it appears. Learning and staying ahead of the game are the best tools in tackling any type of crisis.