Principles for a Just Recovery from the COVID-19 crisis
From systemic crises to environmental, social, gender and economic justice.
25 August, 2020
25 August, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis is the result of an economic system that prioritises profits over peoples’ rights and the environment.
The systemic, inter-related socio-ecological crises we face — climate, biodiversity, food, water, economic and care — and this global coronavirus pandemic share the same root causes: a capitalist, patriarchal and racist system designed for capital accumulation and neoliberal, corporate-led globalisation.
This is why Friends of the Earth International believes that a “just recovery” built on environmental, social, gender and economic justice is urgently needed to comprehensively address the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
Recovery does not mean going “back to normal”. This is the time to prioritise the sustainability of life, peoples’ rights, and the protection of livelihoods and the planet.
We propose four principles for a just recovery:
1. Abandon neoliberalism and austerity and immediately put in place policies and measures founded on justice, recognising ecological limits.
The State must play a fundamental role in guaranteeing peoples’ rights and environmental justice.
Public recovery packages must:
2. Recovery measures should be built on and enhance multilateral co-operation and internationalist solidarity.
Internationalism across movements and borders will help to build collective responses to this crisis. Internationalism means a common understanding and analysis of all forms of oppression, their interconnectedness as well as the need to tackle them all, globally.
International regulations must prioritise peoples’ rights and environmental, social, gender and economic justice. Countries must create policy space in which to address the root causes of the systemic crises. This means:
3. Strengthen democracy and protect human rights and peoples’ rights.
Democracy must be defended and strengthened through empowering peoples’ participation. Politics must be reclaimed, by demanding that it ensures peoples’ rights and the protection of nature. We must come together to ensure:
4. Governments must respond to the multiple systemic crises—of the pandemic, inequality, climate, food, biodiversity, and care—and their root causes, by pursuing a transformative system change agenda.
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed how the destruction of ecosystems facilitates the spread of pathogens that affect our health. A just and healthy recovery means responding to the climate change crisis and the loss of biodiversity, forests and other ecosystems worldwide.
We call for the following principles to be the basis for all national/regional decisions around bailouts, tax concessions, regulatory frameworks and public spending, and all the necessary international/multilateral measures intended to see us through a recovery from COVID-19 and the ensuing socio-economic crisis into sustainable and just societies founded on peoples’ sovereignty and participation.
Read the full Principles for a Just Recovery report here
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