Humanlinks Festival September 2020

Yesterday, Prof. Phoebe Koundouri gave a speech at the Workshop “Environment: Persons, Societies, Environment: Restoration of a relationship in crisis” organized by Humanlinks Festival with the topic “Towards Green Growth and Sustainable Development in COVID-19 times”.

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“Towards Green Growth and Sustainable Development in COVID-19 times”

The pandemic of COVID-19 has clearly proven the ability of governments to take dramatic measures to mitigate an existential threat, as well as people’s ability, at least in the short run, to adapt to new restricted lifestyles imposed by these measures. Two new Initiatives driven by UN SDSN Greece aim to suppress the epidemic. The New Lancet Commission on COVID-19 (Earth Institute Columbia University) aims to suppress the Epidemic through public health, through vaccines and therapeutics, to address the social Humanitarian consequences and to manage the fiscal and financial consequences. The European Green Deal Working Group (EGD WG) is a Working Group built by leading Academics in Environmental, Natural Resource and Climate Change Economics. It aspires to (1) highlight the correlation between SDGs and EGD Policies, and (2) to introduce pathways that should be reflected to the EU Member States National Programs and EU MFF 2021-2027, based on the latest EU Initiatives for the new Recovery Fund, which has major mission to compensate for economic, social, environmental and humanitarian damage in the post-covid era (3) practically to investigate how Recovery Fund and EGD could create in investment portfolio, capable to implement SDG agenda and the Main (6) Transformation Pathways. In addition, PHD Students are mobilized to a) build on research- based considerations, in order to analyse all relevant parameters coming from several sectors (energy, production, infrastructure, economy, social benefits and legislation), b) to develop the necessary methodology and c) to contribute to outlining solutions and recommendations.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement call for deep transformations in every country that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. While significant progress is being made on some goals, no country is currently on track towards achieving all SDGs. Says Professor Sachs, “the SDGs have become the world’s shared framework for sustainable development, but countries need more clarity on how to operationalize and track progress towards the 17 goals. Similarly, businesses, science, and civil society must support SDG achievement.” The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development. The Greek chapter, SDSN-Greece works closely with other United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector and civil society to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement in Greece. EIT Climate KIC Hub Greece is bringing to surface the potential of Greece for innovative solutions in CleanTech, WaterTech, Circular Economy & innovative financing schemes using systems innovation approach and engaging key stakeholders in all stages of the process to co-develop roadmaps and portfolios. ReSEES laboratory is the outcome of the evolution of the Research Team on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability. ReSEES does policy relevant interdisciplinary research on environmental, natural resources and energy issues supporting the understanding and implementation of Sustainable Development. Our cluster of institutions, UN SDSN Greece, EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece and ReSEES, work towards a prosperous, inclusive and resilient to climate-change society based on circular economy and aiming at net zero carbon emissions.

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