What It Will Take to ‘Build Back Better’ After the Coronavirus Pandemic

What It Will Take to ‘Build Back Better’ After the Coronavirus Pandemic
A man jogs on an empty street along the Seine river in Paris, France, April 4, 2020 (AP photo by Christophe Ena).

After months of living under strict lockdowns, many people have grown accustomed to scenes that once would have been utterly surreal, like normally busy highways and thoroughfares suddenly emptied of vehicles. Photographers around the world have documented how wild animals are reclaiming national parks in the absence of human visitors. Atmospheric researchers have documented dramatic declines in air pollution.

All of this will simply be a temporary salve for the environment if the economy comes roaring back, business as usual, once the public health threat recedes. But it could also be the beginning of a new normal, a transition point where world leaders finally start to take the climate crisis seriously. For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman is joined by Sam Fankhauser, director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, for a conversation about how to build climate resilience into the economic response to COVID-19.


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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Earth Day’s New Urgency in the Era of COVID-19
Can the Lessons of the Coronavirus Pandemic Be Applied to Climate Change?
Another Victim of COVID-19: Sustainable Development
What More Will It Take to Save the Global Economy From COVID-19?

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Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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