Author: Svilena Velcheva

“The only possible way out of the crisis is into the future. We cannot afford to return to the previous “normalcy”, because this very non-functioning system is a recipe for crisis. A situation in which polluters do not pay for the damage caused. A system in which coal-fired power plants have been burning waste for more than half a century, and residual coal slag and ash are causing spills in people’s backyards. There is more and more plastic in the oceans, and forests are being cut down. Social inequalities are growing and people’s quality of life and health are deteriorating. The old “normal” is a recipe for a crisis. “This was stated by Denitsa Petrova, director of Greenpeace – Bulgaria. The organization is pushing for a green and fair recovery from the crisis, calling for a return to the future. Environmentalists gave a kind of start to the first new week of the second stage of measures against the pandemic in Bulgaria and presented a report with proposals. Among the measures they insist on are:

– Reduction of the carbon and environmental footprint of economic activities;

– Achieving energy independence based on renewable energy sources at national and local level;

– Transition to carbon-free, circular and shared economic models;

– Development of financial and investment measures that prioritize human development, innovation and quality of life over economic growth.

The appeal is both to the institutions and government officials who make key decisions about our shared resources, and to each of us and the motivation behind our daily actions. The message is a direct reference to the desire of millions of people around the world to recover from the crisis to a society in which human health and the planet are a priority, rather than the previous “normal” state of pollution, logging, endangered species and overproduction.

Economic forecasts show that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be even more severe than those that occurred during the 2008-2009 crisis. Returning to policies pursued before the temporary economic slowdown means deepening the climate and health crisis, experts say. Alternatively, the organization makes recommendations on the direction of crisis measures, economic incentives, long-term investments and strategic decisions that will help our economy recover with less damage to the climate and environment and more benefits for people.

The success, security and quality of life of people cannot be based on the pursuit of continuous growth of gross domestic product. Following the principle that the crisis contains solutions, the organization makes 20 recommendations aimed at key stakeholders – companies, communities, institutions and households. The opportunities for these stakeholders to work together complement the framework, symbolically called KOVID-20.
“We hope that timely action and determination to deal with the difficulties can turn this negative association acronym into a household name for our ability to mobilize our ideas and resources to create positive change. Even before the current crisis broke out, New Zealand adopted a budget aimed not at increasing economic growth but at increasing the well-being of its citizens. Bulgaria can benefit from the ideas of this good example “, adds Denitsa Petrova.

Welcome to the webinar “Back to the future – green recovery from the crisis” live, tonight from 18:00. You will have the opportunity to ask your questions on the topic, as a comment below the video.

A petition in support of the cause can be signed here.

You can sign a petition against the import of waste for incineration here.

Translator: Valentina Vagge

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Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations

The project “Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations” shall be implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve citizens’ awareness of the role of non-governmental organizations in society. This material is established with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The whole responsibility for the content of the document is held by the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can this material be considered to reflect the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria.