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Post War and post-pandemic agreements: institutional regeneration. By Ricardo Lorenzetti

I was deeply moved by the suffering of many people who went ill, who lost loved ones, or people who lost their jobs. It seemed to me that a tide of fear was unfolding over us and that there was no hope, because where there should have been agreements, instead there were only divisions and polarization.

World War II produced a humanitarian catastrophe, but there were people who were able to control fear. Those people started to build a future. The postwar period allowed great leaders to create new institutions, and for many victims to find meaning in their lives by fighting discrimination, denouncing the Holocaust, and building a system of ideals strong enough to prevent this from ever hapenning again.

The global pandemic seems to resemble a world war and, surely, there will be a post-pandemic as there was a post-war era.

Nobody knows that history is being made while they are living it, but it is important to pay attention to some phenomena taking place nowadays.

It is quite likely that the new global institutions of the post-pandemic era, as well as those of the post-war period, have already been started to be designed

In this sense, the “Summit of leaders for the environment”, convened by President Joe Biden, which took place on April 23 and 24, has been extremely important. Numerous world leaders responsible for 80% of the current pollutant emissions participated. These are some of the countries which participated: North America (United States, Canada), Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, various Caribbean countries), Asia (China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam); Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Poland), Middle East (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey) Africa (South Africa and several countries), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand).

There are  aspects emerging that are very relevant.

Protecting the environment has become an argument for political correctness. Taking into account that in recent years there was a denial of the issue, it is very important that all the leaders speak out in favor of the fight against climate change.

The scenario was different in other opportunities. For the first time the declarations of commission secretaries were replaced by affirmations of leaders with power and obligations towards their citizens who listened to them.

They all agreed that there is a problem greater than rivalries, ambitions, vanities and polarizations. The COVID 19 virus, closely linked to the environmental crisis, reached the home of each citizen. A biological war or a flood or a tornado or global warming or mass migrations are impossible to stop with the police border.

They stressed the need to adopt concrete measures, which need to be implemented within the next ten years. The problem is urgent.

Regarding energy, the change is underway and it will cause a modification of the rules of the game of the global economy. All countries are discussing decarbonization projects, raising the price of traditional energies, betting on renewable energies. Many cities use electric transport, and with an automotive industry betting heavily on vehicles powered by electric power. New Zealand proposed increasing taxes on traditional energies and generating the resources to promote clean energies; Mexico explained its hydro energy project; Chile suggested a future based on the northern desert sun and the southern Patagonian wind. Russia postulated not only to lower pollution levels, but to increase the power of the sources of cleaning in the atmosphere. Everyone’s goal: carbon neutrality.

A good proof that the process is more than just a statement was that the meeting was personally coordinated by John Kerry together with large international banks and investment funds,in order to discuss the financing of these processes.

These costs pose very difficult problems of distribution between developed and developing countries. For this reason, they spoke about differentiated responsibilities, credits for environmental adaptation, debt reformulation.

Several countries clarified that the protection of the environment signifies an opportunity for development, not an obstacle for it. The United States declared that healthier jobs and wealth will be created in the private sector of the sustainable economy. Japan affirmed that the protection of the environment is not a limit, but an engine, and that a global wave must be generated within this stream of thought.

The concrete initiatives are numerous. Stopping deforestation and planting millions of trees to improve Nature’s resilience; modifying food, agriculture, industries, technology, and innovation.

In China’s intervention, it was said that growth must be in harmony with nature, which is an ancient concept within the country’s tradition, which was born with Confucius and which is always current.

It is a huge step in favor of international cooperation.

As in the post-war period, and with new institutions, it is necessary for new ideals to be born, and that is why citizen participation is also necessary on all fronts, so that the light doesn’t go off.