The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global health crisis with impacts on economies and sustainable development of countries, especially in the global South. Climate change is also making its impact felt, and its effects are becoming more catastrophic every year. Climate-induced resource shortages and widespread poverty are also fueling the escalation of conflict and fragility in many parts of the world. COVID-19 has made the situation worse, making ambitious actions to tackle the COVID recovery agenda, conflicts and the climate emergency ever more urgent and critical.
COVID-19 has rightly taken the main agenda of development cooperation. As countries emerge from lockdowns, there is a strong push to reinforce, in the name of “recovery”, fossil-fuel based, extractivist, profit-oriented, and corporate-led models of growth and development. If left unchallenged, such paradigms will further heighten the vulnerability of peoples’ and communities, particularly in the global South, to economic meltdowns, pandemics, climate disasters, conflict, and militarism. What are the imperatives for tilting the balance to ensure that the crises instead bring forth the needed transformative measures and reforms to support fossil-fuel free, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future? How should global development cooperation in response to COVID-19 crisis contribute to enable countries to meet their commitments under 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Climate Agreement, and similar global frameworks and pacts?