Transparency Engagement and Building Back Better
With recovery efforts for Covid-19 well underway, the problems that affected society before the pandemic have not gone away. Climate change and wealth inequality remain pressing concerns that have only worsened with the global health and supply chain crisis.
Building back better
Building back better means rebuilding infrastructure using grassroots, local organizations and a sustainable approach. While it acknowledges the urgent need for better economic conditions, it looks for ways to recover to avoid growing problems like wealth inequality and changing climate.
With the primary health concerns of Covid-19 mostly in check, the secondary concern of economic recovery has now taken priority. Building back better means providing financial relief in an economically responsible, locally engaged, and transparent way.
Many international nonprofits are working on the issue in Haiti and beyond. One concrete method of improving recovery infrastructure is investing in low-carbon and decentralized electricity systems.
The World Economic Forum lists climate change as the world’s first global economic instability risk (The Global Risks Report 2020). Unsustainable business and government practices, including fossil fuel extraction and unsustainable forms of power generation, will only push environmental problems down the line. Thus, we can now invest in better, more sustainable infrastructure for our future ecological and long-term economic interests.
It is of central importance to build infrastructure in a people-centered way that focuses on individual communities’ input and well-being, with special attention to reducing inequalities and promoting inclusiveness (Accelerating Climate Action).
Building resilience to climate change
With the backing of local organizations, building resilience to climate change is crucial. As societies face increasing pressure from the sea, storms, and heat, more resilient infrastructure will be necessary to brace for these new impacts. So, supply chain infrastructure must be upgraded to deal with contingencies such as future pandemics.
Upgrading energy-efficient housing
Covid-19 revealed that housing infrastructure in many areas is not robust enough to deal with most people staying in their homes. In addition, the quality and comfort of many houses are not good enough for long-term stay-at-home recommendations, with sanitation being of particular concern.
Inequalities in health can appear from this as many cannot reasonably stay within their homes and need to interact more often with others.
Using circular economic principles for supply chain resilience
The long, complicated systems of global supply chains are efficient in terms of cost but have revealed their weakness when problems such as a worldwide pandemic hit. Other concerns are natural disasters that can block off crucial trade areas.
Making supply chains shorter and more local can protect from some of these problems. However, it is essential to balance this with a decrease in efficiency, which can inadvertently increase global carbon emissions.
Preserving and enhancing biodiversity
The preservation and enhancement of natural infrastructures can help in many ways in the fight against climate change and maintain greater food and resource resilience. The efficiency of growing and raising concentrated foodstuffs trades off with each of their resilience to epidemics, which can often spread across an entire species worldwide.
Biodiversity is often undervalued in capitalist markets but can serve local populations and the world well in the long run. Of course, it is hard to market the benefits a diverse ecosystem can provide, but new forms of infrastructure should consider protective and recovery mechanisms.