For the first time in a long time, I feel very positive about our future. Over the past years, we’ve witness floods, fires and increasingly alarming numbers regarding global warming. It’s often felt that we’re all passengers aboard a fast train heading towards earthy despair. But then Covid-19 happened and alas a global lockdown actually ensued – I still can’t quite believe it!
It seems the train came to a sudden halt and finally our Earth, our Governments, the companies and ourselves were given a chance to gasp for a breath of (much-needed) air. What we saw was the quick regeneration of our fruitful Earth back to a powerful equilibrium that was achieved whilst we were all shut up. The world experienced clearer skies, friendlier sea life at our shores, wild animals reclaiming land and, ultimately, global warming slowing down – see my earlier Blog:
So now, how do we maintain this sense of harmony? Surely, we’re not going to continue to strip mother nature of her resources even though we know a potentially daunting economic collapse lies ahead.
But perhaps this break from “reality” was a blessing in disguise. It is in fact, the best opportunity to make changes. And it’s not just me thinking this. It has made Governments, Chief Executives and Green Organisations commit to a better, greener World. After all, when something’s broken, it presents the opportunity to build it back better!
I’m happy to say it seems the hunger for a cleaner, greener return is larger than the hunger for more. Governments across the World, including the UK, are currently organising their ‘get out of lockdown plans’ for a smooth and fast economic recovery. They are calling it, ‘the post Covid-19 economic stimulus package’.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated, “We owe it to our future generations to build back better”. This sentiment is hopeful, resourceful and is finally an active response to the underlying existential fear that we’re experiencing, and the generations to follow. 200 Chief Executives of companies (including Asda, Heathrow Airport, Mitsubishi, Sky, Siemens, National Grid, HSBC) have signed up to focus on sectors that favour the environment post-COVID. Greenpeace and these Chief Executives are don’t usually see ‘eye-to-eye’ but now, these powerful forces are pulling together on the fundamental changes that need to be made.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? “Polarities and Powers” coming together when it matters most. Greenpeace has outlined a manifesto stating strong and, in some cases, controversial plans for the future. The manifesto called for the net-zero emissions goal, that was for 2050 to be delivered before 2045.
I like this sense of urgency!
Greenpeace has also proposed to radically redesign the road network to prioritise cycling & walking and to ‘expand, electrify and increase the affordability of public transport’. Including the aim to speed up the transition to electric vehicles. There are discussions of petrol and diesel vehicles to be banned by …(drumroll please)… 2030!
This ‘break’ from the rat-race, albeit at times stressful and unsettling, means we can now walk (or cycle) out of this towards transformed economies and new business opportunities that await us. A decade ago, 40% of the country’s electricity was powered by coal, during the lockdown 30% of power was generated from renewables, surprising many experts who thought it couldn’t be done!
The European Commission has taken this mission seriously and is planning a whopping Euro €750 billion investment to tackle the economic downturn with a greener plan, with countless job opportunities on the other side. Clean energy calls for three times more jobs than investments into fossil fuel infrastructure. As well as getting the UK on a path towards a zero-waste economy, where EVERYTHING can be reused (hoping by 2025 we should have halved the production of single-use plastics), this will ultimately be supporting innovations and jobs from private investment including sectors of ‘efficient product design and sustainable waste infrastructure’.
The simple logic is the more you produce, the cheaper it gets, and the good thing about sustainable energy is that there’s not a finite amount of resource. This encourages a move towards low carbon technology. Higher employment opportunities, more investment in the right projects and, as renewable energy becoming cheaper to produce, the businesses will follow.
When this way of life becomes more sustainable, not just for the planet, but for companies, it will become ‘business as usual’. Globally, Governments are planning a considerable scale-up of solar and wind investment to make it more affordable. Whilst discussing a tax on oversea products depending on their carbon footprint making it costly to not be conscious.
Buckle up business folk, it’s better to make friends with the Planet!
I predict that the demand for travel, consumer products and therefore more useless production will remain low after COVID-19. With more businesses now trusting employees to work from home and shut down their places of work, it could have a positive effect on a restructuring of the global “hamster-wheel” as we’ve known it! It could be that more people become freelance, companies will expand their online presence and with more people staying home, the digital ‘realm’ will increase, decreasing the strain on external resources.
Of course, a lot of businesses have gone bust since COVID-19, so as these empty premises begin to fill, I trust there will be zero tolerance for new companies who are not green-conscious about business. This means looking to places that are zero-waste, ethical, sustainable and dare I say, more vegan – see my earlier Blog:
It’s up to us as business owners, future employees, consumers, users, travellers, and above all, a community, to do our part in facilitating the new world growth. We have a very exciting future ahead, let’s change our current behaviour to become even more responsible, more respectful, and more aware.
If you feel passionate about this change, the best thing you can do in this moment is share this blog with your friends.
Let’s spread this awareness by supporting the call for change!
Take care, keep well!
Blog: Eliza Pitkin
Do you agree? Tell us what you think – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“tellus” is a Latin word meaning “Earth” e.g. Tellus Mater the ancient Roman Earth Mother Goddess
I wrote a poem at the beginning of lockdown, with hopes for a more positive change, please enjoy!
More of my poems on Instagram – @elizapitkin.