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The Great Reset: 3 Ways How Government Should Use The Current Crises For A Sustainable Future

TABLE OF CONTENT

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Investing in renewable and sustainable energy sources and phasing out Fossil fuel

3.0 Adopting Regenerative Agriculture

4.0 Reforestation

5.0 Conclusion

Introduction

Nobody was ever ready and nobody anticipated a global pandemic at the beginning of 2020.  It all started in China and eventually impacted the entire planet.  The pandemic not only impacted human health but also resulted in an economic slowdown for many countries.  The US recorded the highest unemployment numbers in a century. Similarly, countries like India saw a slump in credit ratings owing to a slowdown in the economy. 

The pandemic, disasters, droughts are all the result of climate change and it’s a wakeup call for us.  We can see that with COVID-19 and SARS everything on this planet; species, nations, and geopolitical issues are all interconnected.  These are all ultimately the impacts of climate change which scientists and sustainability advocates are raising alarms about.  It’s time we use science and focus on bringing about changes that could help us prevent global outcry.

However, a broader and brighter picture also emerged as we saw the greenhouse emissions go down drastically in decades; with Venice witnessing dolphins near shore in a long time.  The lockdown and pandemic made evident that how capable are human societies in transforming themselves in a short span of time.  This has given us an overview of how we should encourage our government to take measures and steps in order to attain and achieve a sustainable and greener future.  Below are mentioned 3 ways how government should respond to the crisis for a greener and sustainable future to avoid such pandemics and natural disasters in the future.

1. Invest in renewable and sustainable energy resources and phase out fossil fuel

We saw transformational changes in lifestyle during the pandemic overnight and how every country is taking immediate measures to come up with a vaccine and solution to contain the situation.  Similarly, countries and their governments should also focus on decreasing their dependencies and subsidies for fossil fuels and adopt renewable energy resources.  More investment in sources like wind, solar, isothermal, thermal, etc should be made. 

Many G7 and European nations have pledged to eliminate perverse fossil fuel subsidies. 

Similarly in UAE, Dubai has committed and pledged to go green and sustainable in the next couple of years. These are some big steps towards a brighter future. 

Moreover, business leaders like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Brandson, Jack Ma have joined hands to come up with an investor lead fund – Breakthrough Ventures, to fund ideas and companies focused on building new and cutting edge technology for green, sustainable and renewable source of energy to achieve net-zero emissions.  They are partnering with companies and governments to make this change happen.  They have already funded a number of such companies and ideas and they have started to be implemented and promoted across the globe.

Businesses like Amazon and Tesla with their commitment to sustainable and clean energy sources and technologies are inspiring entrepreneurs, masses and governments to take steps and measures to go green and adopt renewable energy and sustainable products to conserve the planet.

2. Adopting Regenerative Agriculture

44% to 57% of all global greenhouse emissions are due to the Industrial agriculture and food system we have.  Food processing, packaging and transportation contribute to 15 to 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.  The quality of the nutrients in the soil is being deteriorated due to industrial agriculture.  This all could change with regenerative agriculture. Hence, people, these days are going back to traditional and organic farming and food.  We all have seen a push towards organic food and industry. Regenerative agriculture not only helps in obtaining organic byproduct but also regenerates and revitalizes the soil and environment using technology. This is possible by empowering the local farmers and investing and providing funds and technology to these farmers.  This would also enhance the environment and economy as well as create jobs and profits. 

There are various entrepreneurs and technologists working towards making regenerative agriculture more effective, scalable and affordable.  We have seen advances like technologists working on genetically modifying microbes to enhance nutrients in the soil. Similarly many other methods like biomass, etc should be leveraged and subsidies should be implemented in order to promote regenerative agriculture. 

Many city governments throughout the world have started exploring regenerative agriculture.  This could help reduce greenhouse gases, restore the nutrients in the soil and provide nutritious and organic food along with a number of benefits. The only challenge is scalability; which could be achieved by empowering local farmers with necessary resources and technology.

3. Reforestation

The COVID and SARS outbreaks are a wakeup call for us and governments across the planet to understand that climate change is for real and deforestation and environmental pollution across the planet has affected the natural cycles immensely and resulted in such pandemic.

2019 witnessed the deforestation of Amazon in Brazil, where about 3900 square miles of the rainforest was lost.  This raised a lot of eyeballs and attention and many climate change advocacy groups and governments demanded a restoration of the rainforest. 

But the ‘Bonn challenge’, an international agreement; which is to add 1.35 million square miles of forest across the planet by 2030 is on track and has been implemented by all the nations including India and China.  This could help save species, recycle rain and reduce carbon dioxide in the air.

Besides this, organizations like The Nature Conservatory and World Resources Institute (WRI) are successfully managing their programs of reforestation, saving trees and ecosystem restoration. 

With governments and environmental groups working together, reforestation and conservation of forests can be achieved quickly.

Conclusion

Our dependence on fossil fuels, industrial agriculture and industrialization need to be reduced and slowly eliminated. For policymakers, the goal should be to support citizens and their livelihood by reducing the spending on fossil fuel, industrial agriculture, and focusing on renewable and sustainable energy resources.

These measures could help usher a brighter future and could not only avoid future pandemic but also restore our planet back.  We need this reset in order to conserve our planet and our livelihood.  Governments along with business leaders have started to focus on this change and shift.  With science and technology by our side, it would definitely help us achieve this quicker and sooner.  A greener and sustainable environment and the planet could usher new opportunities and hope for all the inhabitants of this planet.

 

References

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/a-green-reboot-after-the-pandemic/

https://regenerationinternational.org/why-regenerative-agriculture/

https://www.dubai.com/blog/dubai-going-green/

https://www.b-t.energy/ventures/

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/brazil-deforested-10000-square-km-amazon-rainforest-2019-200610143250834.html

https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-green-pledges-will-not-create-the-natural-forests-we-need

https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/05/592666/work-matters-time-press-reset-button

https://calgary.redfm.ca/economic-impact-of-covid-19/

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/your-guide-talking-kids-all-ages-about-climate-change

https://www.renewableresourcescoalition.org/alternative-energy-sources/

https://www.generalmills.com/Responsibility/Sustainability/Regenerative-agriculture

https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/trends-business/regenerative-agriculture-moving-sustainability-goalpost-nutrition-industry

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2020/01/23/reforestation-climate-change-solution-or-ecosystem-disservice-depends-where-you-plant-the-trees/

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