Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s11625-021-01003-z
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Making the COVID-19 crisis a real opportunity for environmental sustainability
Author Lehmann, P.; de Brito, M.M.; Gawel, E.; Groß, M.; Haase, A.; Lepenies, R.; Otto, D.; Schiller, J.; Strunz, S.; Thrän, D.
Source Titel Sustainability Science
Year 2021
Volume 16
Issue 6
Page From 2137
Page To 2145
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords COVID-19; Green recovery; Pandemic; Sustainability transitions
Abstract An optimistic narrative has gained momentum during the first year of the pandemic: the COVID-19 crisis may have opened a window of opportunity to “rebuild better”, to spur societal transitions towards environmental sustainability. In this comment, we review first evidence of individual and political changes made so far. Findings suggest that economies worldwide are not yet building back better. Against this background, we argue that a naïve opportunity narrative may even impair the progress of transitions towards environmental sustainability because it may render green recovery measures ineffective, costly, or infeasible. Based on these observations, we derive conditions for green recovery policies to succeed. They should consist of a policy mix combining well-targeted green subsidies with initiatives to price emissions and scrap environmentally harmful subsidies. Moreover, green recovery policies must be embedded into a narrative that avoids trading off environmental sustainability with other domains of sustainability—and rather highlights respective synergies that can be realized when recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Lehmann, P., de Brito, M.M., Gawel, E., Groß, M., Haase, A., Lepenies, R., Otto, D., Schiller, J., Strunz, S., Thrän, D. (2021):
Making the COVID-19 crisis a real opportunity for environmental sustainability
Sustain. Sci. 16 (6), 2137 - 2145 10.1007/s11625-021-01003-z