What Is a Green Recovery and Why Does It Matter?


Is it really almost November? The pandemic has made these last few months crawl by like years. Right now, even as life in some ways is beginning to look more recognisable, millions remain out of work and millions more continue to struggle with the challenges of having to do their jobs from home. Everybody is wondering what comes next. A lot of people just wish things could get back to normal. 

But is “normal” actually what we want? Normal was exposed by the pandemic to be riddled with inequalities and injustice. Normal brought us the climate crisis. We can do better than normal! 

We have an opportunity, both here in the UK and around the world, to build a better future—to create a new economy and a new normal. Join us in calling for an economic recovery that puts people and the planet first, a "green recovery" that will help us come back better and stronger than we were before. 


What, Exactly, Does “Green Recovery” Mean?

The coronavirus has hit the world economy hard. The UK, EU, and US have all suffered historic declines. Governments are pledging to rebuild again, to create jobs, spark growth, repair the damage done. The question is, What will our rebuilt economy look like? Will it favour polluting industries and corporations? Or will it instead center the environment, equality, and justice? 

A green recovery focuses on policies and solutions that will benefit people AND the planet for years and years to come. Safeguarding the environment, through protecting ecosystems and fighting the climate crisis, is a big part of it, but so is investing in clean-energy jobs, ensuring everyone’s health, safety, and civil rights, and prioritising climate justice. 

Historically, both here and abroad, our most vulnerable communities have suffered the most from air pollution and the many other environmental impacts of industrialisation. The same is true when it comes to climate change. As we transition to a strong and sustainable clean-energy future, we have to ensure that no one is left behind, that the people least responsible for this crisis are not hurt the most by it. We can do this! But we’re running out of time...


Why It Matters

According to a recent report, the effects of climate change are likely to be worse than once thought. (What makes this extra-unsettling is that we already knew it was going to be pretty bad!) We’re talking about sea levels rising more dramatically, heat waves becoming even more unbearable, extreme weather getting more and more extreme. We MUST limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C, and it will take decisive action and bold leadership to make it happen. 

Which is why this moment matters so much! We have an unprecedented opportunity to do things in a new way, to learn from our mistakes and build on our successes and come back better, greener, and more resilient. Our government must make choices today that’ll strengthen our communities and—we think this is quite an important point—preserve a habitable planet. 


The Choices We Make

To avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis, we have to act now. That’s why the Climate Coalition's green recovery plan prioritises:

  • Climate justice: Our most vulnerable communities are being hit the hardest by climate change and need help. They need housing and healthcare and jobs. Justice and equality must be at the heart of our transition to a clean-energy economy—we have to make sure that no one is left behind. 
  • Clean energy: We must dramatically increase investment in renewables and clean-energy infrastructure and divest entirely from polluting industries. As the UK pushes for its net-zero goals, we should focus on things like building energy-efficient homes and offices and modernising public transportation. 
  • Sustainable jobs: Deepening our commitment to clean energy will result in the creation of new “future-proof” jobs all over the UK, but the transition to the new economy will not be easy for everyone. Local training and education programs will be key. 
  • The environment: Restoring ecosystems, supporting sustainable food and farming, and ensuring that all people have access to nature are a huge part of fighting the climate crisis and helping people thrive. 

There’s a lot more. And it all makes sense. Get the details here


Let’s Make It Happen

Ben & Jerry’s is proud to have joined scores of companies and organisations across the UK in calling for a green recovery. We know it can happen here. Just look at how other countries in Europe are pushing ahead with ambitious green recovery programs of their own. The UK public overwhelmingly supports a green recovery—with nearly 75% saying that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle climate change. And yet the prime minister continues to speak only vaguely about “sustainability”.

That’s why it’s up to us to keep the pressure on.

Let’s create a new normal. Let’s protect the people and the planet we love. Not only is a better, more just and resilient world possible, it’s within reach. Make sure our leaders hear your voice! Stand with us and call for a green recovery today.