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ECONOMIC RECOVERY FROM COVID RELIES ON GREEN ECONOMY


Looking at the socio-economic blow South Africa was dealt by the pandemic, causing job losses and worsening environmental issues, government must ensure that economic recovery plans are geared towards the development of the green economy.


Climate change, biodiversity loss, waste management and air and water pollution were existing problems long before Covid, and these challenges are the result of using non-recyclable materials in manufacturing, resource inefficiency and lack of policing on the disposal of harmful chemicals used in the production of goods and services. These challenges became even bigger as a result of the pandemic, for instance medical waste in the form of discarded PPE gear has become an additional environmental issue to contend with.


Developing the country’s green economy, with targeted environmental policies put in place by government, ensures that more investment from private and public entities is channeled into environmentally responsible economic activities and infrastructure. This in turn reduces carbon emissions and prevents biodiversity loss, while pursuing economic growth that does not degrade the environment.


The green economy also paves the way for more employment opportunities through the creation of ‘green’ jobs, where people will advocate for the environment in their specific professional contexts. This could range from graduates in natural science fields to a law graduate focusing on environmental concerns. Creating an enabling environment for these graduates is an essential part of building the green economy. It is for this reason that initiatives like the GreenMatter Fellowship exist.


www.greenmatterza.com

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