On Friday, 18 December 2020, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) released its position paper "Implications of COVID-19 for the Environment and Sustainability (Version 2): Perspectives from the Triple R (Response, Recovery, Redesign) Framework". Based on progress made since the release of Version 1 in May this year, IGES revisited how environment and sustainability concerns are factored into decisions related to COVID-19.
The paper focuses on particularly relevant issues to the pandemic such as medical waste management, wildlife-human relationships, and the adverse effects of air pollution, as they have substantial bearings on strengthening resilience in the future. In addition, a few untapped strategies such as changes in lifestyle and workstyle are highlighted for more substantial decarbonisation in the future. It also discusses the importance of consistent and strategic measures to address these issues in line with the "Triple R" Framework proposed by IGES.
The first position paper analysed COVID-19 and its implications from short-term, medium-term and long-term perspectives, and suggested future actions. The "Triple R" Framework builds on this, defining “response” as targeted interventions to address immediate impacts, “recovery” as policy reforms and allocations of stimulus funding to change the orientation of development, and “redesign” as the transformation of socioeconomic system to accelerate just transitions, with the aim of recovering from the crisis and building a sustainable world. This framework is set out in detail in the discussion paper "A Sustainable COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Redesign: Principles and Applications of the Triple R Framework" (Zusman et al., 2020) published concurrently.
The position paper also notes that COVID-19 has broadened the conventional scope of sustainability and resilience, which has even more explicitly highlighted the importance of an integrated approach. With this in mind, IGES will continue to work with subnational, national and international partners to drive the transformation towards ensuring people’s health and strengthening global sustainability and resilience.
Position Paper “Implications of COVID-19 for the Environment and Sustainability (Version 2):
Perspectives from the Triple R (Response, Recovery, Redesign) Framework”