Last updated on July 3, 2020
We hosted a tweet chat on ‘COVID-19 and its impact on Climate Change and Climate Finance Innovations’ on 29 April 2020. Mr John Chambers, Founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Former Chairman & CEO, Cisco; Ms Vani Kola, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital and Ms Menaka Doshi, Managing Editor Bloomberg Quint; formed the tweet chat panel that I moderated. It gathered global perspectives on this pressing issue upon all of us.
In these unprecedented times as we see the world coming together in its resolve to combat COVID-19, we can look to the immediate future in greater hope that civil society, government and corporate will join to also lend climate action the priority it requires to succeed.
As we prepare for a post COVID-19 world, we have a historic opportunity to ensure that measures being taken to come out of this crisis also fuel green growth, green jobs and a behavioral change towards sustainability as a way of life for all times to come.
Here are the key takeaways from our Tweet Chat:-
Collaborative action is possible
If there is one positive lesson to draw from this pandemic, it is that collaborative action of civil society, governments and corporates is possible. Climate change is still upon us and is important we do not shift our commitments and collaborations to in our fights against it.. As reported by UN, we have time only until 2030 to mitigate the serious impact of climate change on food security, livelihoods and rampant environmental devastation.
An opportunity for US and India to strengthen ties
Last year, USISPF stated that about 200 American companies are seeking to move their manufacturing base from China to India. It. While there may be delays in the implementation of many of these projects due to the global pandemic, with adequate support from the governments, India can become the new manufacturing hub in a post #COVID-19 world. In our tweet chat, Mr. John Chambers, echoed the same inference. He shared ‘Global cooperation is essential now more than ever – that’s why I believe strongly in #USIndia partnership being a model for the rest of the world. While it is true that global relations come with challenges, the benefits of strong economic connections are great.’
It is particularly reassuring to see US and India firms collaborate on healthcare R&D to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. We share a history of 3 decade long collaboration in scholastic collaborations across industry. India is a synonym for IT supremacy globally and has very deep collaboration with US companies. This partnership makes me very hopeful and expectant in the near future.
Rise in Sustainable Investing
A report released by a leading Media organisation in April 2020 shared that ‘Companies with strong focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles – – outperformed their conventional counterparts in the first quarter of 2020, even as the outbreak sent markets crashing.’
I believe that in a post COVID-19 world, sustainable investing will come into mainstream finance. The days of hardcore, bottom line driven business with no attention to sustainability or positive social impact have elapsed. COVID-19 has brought about a behavioral change in mass imagination and therefore in investors alike who attach critical value to sustainability of the businesses where they invest. Ms Vani Kola shared the same sentiment, she mentioned how investors are gradually realising that investments in fight against climate change may be plausible now more so than before.
Contact-less Work Processes
The current crisis has illuminated the practicality of contact less workforces without hampering work efficiency. I hope there is more acceptability given to remote working and remote learning far after this crisis is over. I think we can expect to see a lot of digital conferences and seminars in the coming years and a lot more companies switching to ‘work from home’ measures.
As Mr John Chambers rightly stated, “We will be forever changed by this crisis. We will likely never do phone calls again and business travel will look totally difference – videoconferencing is the way of the future. “
I look forward to this new, digitized workplace and the possibilities it brings!
5. Sustainability – An Integral part of Economic Recovery
The measures we take today will influence generations to come. As governments announce stimulus packages to reboot their economies, there must be budget allocation for sustainability and clean energy so we can create a more resilient and sustainable future for the generations to come.
In our tweet chat, Ms Menaka Doshi emphasized the need for sustainability in our stimulus recovery plans. I hope the Indian government comes up with policy support to incentivise sustainable businesses and re-evaluate subsidies given to high carbon producing businesses which are seriously detrimental to both public health and our planet.