UNITED Nations chief Antonio Guterres has reminded a world battling the coronavirus crisis and its devastating impact on the global economy not to forget the “even deeper emergency” facing the planet of climate change.
In a message released for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day today April 22, Guterres describes the pandemic as “the biggest test the world has faced since the Second World War.”
But he also tells the globe’s governments that while the impact of Covid-19 is “immediate and dreadful”, it also serves as a wake-up call to address the environmental crisis.
Massive economic stimulus packages launched by the US, China and some European nations have mainly been aimed at helping existing industries to survive and prevent a worldwide depression, but the UN head wants governments to direct resources at a transition to a greener economy.
“Where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it needs to be tied to achieving green jobs and sustainable growth,” he said.
“Public funds should be used to invest in the future, not the past, and flow to sustainable sectors and projects that help the environment and the climate.”