Latin America and the Caribbean show the way to green COVID-19 recovery

Asha Bajaj
3 min readOct 8, 2020

#LatinAmerica; #Caribbean; #Covid19Recovery’ #GreeningWorld; #SDGs

Greening the world of work post-COVID-19 could create millions of jobs in the most bio-diverse region on the planet. However, the right policies need to be put in place to ensure they are decent jobs.

COVID-19 has focused attention on zoonotic diseases — those which jump from other animals to humans.

The transference of diseases like COVID-19, Ebola, SARS, and MERS, shows what can happen when we treat nature with insufficient respect, and how this can undermine not only our health but, longer-term, our societies and future.

Used correctly, our environment provides oxygen, food, medical products, and the basis for many aspects of culture. One of the few positive things to come out of this challenging time is that it has reawakened our understanding of how inextricably the natural world is linked to our daily lives, including the world of work.

Our challenge now is to seize the opportunity that post-COVID rebuilding provides to rebalance our relationship with the environment in a way that will create employment that is sustainable, growth that is inclusive, and social systems that are equitable.

Greening the world of work can and must play a central role in building this new, better, future.

A recent ILO-Inter-American Development Bank joint report focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean (Jobs in a Net-Zero Emissions Future in Latin America and the Caribbean) — the most biodiverse region on the planet — shows that the transition to an economic model based on net-zero carbon emissions could create 15 million new jobs (net) for the region by 2030: This would consist of 22.5 million new jobs in agriculture and plant-based food production, renewable electricity, forestry, construction, and manufacturing, while 7.5 million jobs in animal-based food production and fossil fuel extraction and electricity would disappear.

In the Amazon’s tropical forests, de-carbonization efforts would bring a double benefit — generating employment while also capturing carbon. Public employment programs including reforestation and other measures that help protect or restore ecosystems…

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Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women