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Measuring What Matters

As governments prime the pumps of economic recovery, they must change the yardsticks by which they measure human progress and welfare. Otherwise, their investments risk further fueling the inequalities and environmental destruction that prepared the ground for the COVID-19 pandemic.

KIGALI – As many as 150 million people globally, roughly the combined population of Canada, France, and the United Kingdom, may have fallen into pandemic-induced extreme poverty over the past year. Partly as a result, governments are currently pumping unprecedented amounts of money into their COVID-19 response, spending over $14.6 trillion on rescue and stimulus measures in 2020 alone.

But a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme and the University of Oxford indicates that only 18% of current recovery investments can be considered “green.” That’s a problem.

As governments prime the pumps of economic recovery, they must change the yardsticks by which they measure human progress and welfare. Otherwise, their investments risk further fueling the inequalities and environmental destruction that prepared the ground for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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