How to articulate integrated responses to the health, economic and climate crises in Latin America & the Caribbean

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Once Latin American and Caribbean states have tackled the health emergency, the region will face a period of economic contraction. The need to respond quickly to avoid a severe economic shock may provide a strong argument to disregard climate considerations. Yet, if these are not integrated, the recovery will push the region down a pathway with even more dramatic effects than those of COVID-19.

Economic recovery plans after COVID-19 will require vast amounts of resources, increasing the region’s already high debt. With current and expected impacts of climate change – drought, floods, hurricanes, losses in agriculture production, energy losses and exposure to increased pandemics, among others – most countries’ capacity to respond to climate crises will be critically decreased. In this context, it has never been more important to make the COVID-19 response strategies different to any economic recovery plans seen before.

Mainstreaming sustainability and climate proof solutions has never been more important than now to improve resilience of societies, to be prepared in the best possible way for the future. Countries should integrate sustainability into their recovery plans. This brief describes the opportunities of integrating five key areas that can yield substantial economic growth and millions of decent jobs.