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The Economic Case for Greening the Global Recovery | Mainstage

programming partner:

Rockefeller Foundation e1635367215517 - The Economic Case for Greening the Global Recovery | Mainstage

media partner:

yahoo clear e1635277838410 - The Economic Case for Greening the Global Recovery | Mainstage

Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
Andy Serwer, Editor in Chief, Yahoo Finance

Climate change, poverty, and COVID-19 are interconnected. Poorer countries have seen increases in inequality and lack the resources to pull themselves out of the pandemic as easily as wealthier countries. Andy Serwer, Editor in Chief at Yahoo Finance, noted that less than 10% of the developing world has received COVID-19 vaccines, far short of the 70% needed to reach herd immunity. The world is at war with a pathogen, according to Rajiv Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, and we should muster the resources necessary to combat it. There is precedence, he explained, in efforts at the beginning of the century to improve childhood immunization rates. This will take the public and private sectors to join the effort.

Serwer then turned the discussion toward the need to address climate change and reduce carbon output. Shah explained that energy-poor countries need basic electricity to grow out of poverty, and they should grow their future on renewable sources of energy rather than on fossil fuels. China, he continued, is crucial for green technology and yet has undertaken a campaign to build coal plants. 

A green global recovery will take a new mindset. Serwer and Shah agreed that a focus on climate change must move out of charity work towards profit centers in order to spur the innovation necessary to address the crisis. 

Since World War II, the story of fighting poverty and disease on a global basis has been one of convergence. . . We succeeded at bringing health and real improvements in living standards to the world’s poorest people over decades. COVID-19 is turning all of that around.

Rajiv Shah

It speaks to the inequity and exacerbates the inequity.

Andy Serwer

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • If we truly want to narrow the inequality between rich and poor countries, we must address COVID-19, climate change, and poverty simultaneously.
  • Businesses might find value in moving these initiatives out of charity work and into profit centers.