Open letter: COVID-19 Just Recovery Principles
March 26, 2020

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With their measures against the Covid-19 crisis, governments must follow principles that ensure a  just recovery. These principles must ensure that a future after Corona will be healthier and greener, more social, democratic and resilient.

Together with hundreds of international organisations, we have signed an open letter to decision-makers which calls fur such a just recovery. The five principles called for together are:

1.   Put people’s health first, no exceptions.
2.   Provide economic relief directly to the people.
3.   Help workers and communities, not corporate executives.
4.   Create resilience for future crises.
5.   Build solidarity and community across borders – don’t empower authoritarians.

Applying these principles to aviation, means that there must be no unconditional bailouts for airlines. Instead, we need a just transition: provide employees with training for climate friendly jobs, consider public ownership and shift to climate-safe forms of travel.

Already before the corona crisis, we outlined just measures to reduce air traffic and its climate impact in our “Degrowth of Aviation” report. Steps in this direction could be prepared and implemented now and in the coming months.

 

The open letter:

The COVID-19 pandemic demands swift and unprecedented action from national governments and the international community.

Choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come.

As decision-makers take steps to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, it is imperative that they consider the interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline – notably the climate crisis, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified.

This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a Just Recovery.

We, the undersigned organisations, call for a global response to COVID-19 to contribute to a just recovery. Responses at every level must uphold these five principles:

1.   Put people’s health first, no exceptions.

Resource health services everywhere; ensure access for all.

2.   Provide economic relief directly to the people.

Focus on people and workers – particularly those marginalised in existing systems – our short-term needs and long-term conditions.

3.   Help workers and communities, not corporate executives.

Assistance directed at specific industries must be channeled to communities and workers, not shareholders or corporate executives, and never to corporations that don’t commit to tackling the climate crisis.

4.   Create resilience for future crises.

We must create millions of decent jobs that will help power a just recovery and transition for workers and communities to the zero-carbon future we need.

5.   Build solidarity and community across borders – don’t empower authoritarians.

Transfer technology and finance to lower-income countries and communities to allow them to respond using these principles and share solutions across borders and communities. Do not use the crisis as an excuse to trample on human rights, civil liberties, and democracy.