ECLAC calls for new future through 'transformative recovery, equality and sustainability'

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ECLAC calls for new future through 'transformative recovery, equality and sustainability'

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has proposed in its new position document a set of policies that responds to the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic while also aiming to overcome structural problems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The study, entitled 'Building a New Future: Transformative Recovery with Equality and Sustainability' was presented today by Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC's executive cecretary, to the Commission's member countries and associate members during its 38th session, which is taking place virtually through October 28.

The document emphasises that recovering in the current context means rebuilding, acting immediately in the short term with the necessary long-term perspective, and offering recovery and development proposals oriented towards an inclusive welfare State and a productive transformation with technological change and environmental sustainability, which would strengthen equality and “democracy as the most precious legacy of modernity”.

“The region is facing a change of era that entails uncertain, lengthy and complex processes of structural transformation, which are revolutionising the technological base and ways of producing, distributing, inhabiting, consuming, accumulating, thinking and co-existing,” said Bárcena.

She added that, to confront this change of era, ECLAC proposes a big push for sustainability that would articulate policies and coordinate investments. This push must encompass the three dimensions of sustainable development — economic, social and environmental.

The document indicated that LAC must grow at a rate of at least four per cent a year and carry out a sharp redistribution of income (of up to three per cent of GDP annually) in order to eliminate poverty by 2030.

The document further emphasised that a transformative post-COVID-19 recovery will necessitate social compacts so that the goals of equality and sustainability may become State policy, with the participation of all sectors and social groups. It said that at the same time, new forms of global governance are proposed for the provision of global public goods, such as universal access to health, climate security and protection of the atmosphere, financial stability, peace and protection of human rights.

The study also warned that a double environmental asymmetry exists in the region, noting that Latin America and the Caribbean produces a small percentage of global emissions, but it is highly affected by their impact. It explained that the poorest strata of the population — which pollute the least — are the hardest hit. In this context, it reiterates that adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change are crucial factors for future competitiveness.

The document also proposed medium and long-term policies in the areas of taxation and financing, internalisation of environmental externalities, industrial development, a welfare and social protection regime, regional integration and renewed multilateralism.

It suggested focusing attention on seven sectors that can be the drivers of the new development pattern given their strategic role in emissions, investment, competitiveness, employment and health, and it proposes policy lines to propel them forward. These sectors are linked to new energy matrix, urban electromobility, the digital revolution, the health-care manufacturing industry, the bioeconomy, the circular economy and sustainable tourism.


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