How has Covid-19 has affected the UK’s sustainable development?

As the UK looks to rebuild its economy following the effects of Covid-19, there is a question of whether the pandemic, with all its social, health and welfare implications, will propel businesses faster down the sustainability route. Or will the best of intentions get overlooked in a rush to return to economic growth at any cost? Bryt energy reports. 

Early signs

Many agree that the pandemic recovery plan should put us on a path to a cleaner, greener future. Early signs are encouraging, at least for the UK and Europe. Our Prime Minister talks about creating a fairer, greener, and more resilient economy, whilst the EU is in the process of spelling out its green recovery programme.

However, there is much scope for progress for both. Before the pandemic, Britain ranked a moderate 12th in the international league table for meeting the UN’s target of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. These are integrated goals that balance social, economic, and environmental objectives, including ‘Climate Action’, ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’, ‘Reduced Inequality’ and ‘No Poverty’.

Encouragement

The Government has been encouraged to embrace the SDGs in its recovery programme. In this way, we can achieve a recovery that balances the economy with the environment. Many businesses, academia and charities have united to call on the PM for a ‘Green, Fair and Healthy Recovery’. Some of those recommendations include:

  • Use the SDGs in the recovery programme to unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy.
  • Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities.
  • Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and aid the transition to net zero.

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