NEW REALITIES FOR JNE
COVID-19 Pandemic – A New Reality
At start of Year 2020, the world embraced an unprecedented crisis in the wake of Covid-19 deadly virus - the global humanity engulfed in health and economic disorder. Lockdowns, distinctly featured by 2M Social Distancing to contain the spreading of Covid-19 infections, all over followed against the brutal march of Coronavirus. The whole world got behind closed doors since March 2020. As of July 2021, Coronavirus is still mercilessly taking its toll all over the globe – frustrations, fears and huge deaths (daily), job and income losses, unaffordable health costs, poverty and displacements – all are a cumulative devastating scenario. Remarkably, as Bloomberg Billionaires Index reveals, in Covid-19 Pandemic Year 2020 when millions of people are becoming unemployed and poor, the world’s 500 richest people have added approximately US$1.8 trillion to their combined wealth, bringing them to a total net worth of US$7.6 trillion. Inequality in income and wealth concentration has reached a tipping point in the world as the richest 1% own more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
Covid-19 Pandemic-inflicted lockdowns resulted in closure of educational institutions and businesses, and shut down of mills and factories - seriously displacing low-income and migrant workers. Lockdowns brought to a grinding halt the wheels of power that were the hallmark of immense mobility in all nations of the world. This is unparalleled in the history of the modern human race. This brings ‘A New Reality for All’ and reminds especially of the youth that earlier generations had never experienced such over at least a hundred years since the Spanish Flue 1918-1920 killed 50 million world population. Currently, humanity has reached at the tabula rasa - the blank slate. Truly, Covid-19 has pushed the world, in a sense, to reset, to start over.
As scientific consensus runs, the only way this pandemic will be eradicated is through the vaccination of all people worldwide – No One is Safe Until Every One is Safe. It is, therefore, important to recognize this in appropriate policy actions to avoid the tragedy of the commons, in which selfish behaviour leads to adverse communal outcomes.
Notably, in early May 2020 Pope Francis called for treatments accessible to all, drugs free from any monopoly or patent for any pharmaceutical industry and any nation. In similar vein, Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus launched “Declare Covid-19 Vaccine Global Common Good” campaign on 28th June 2020. The Appeal spontaneously gained the support of 134 international personalities and 19 Nobel Prize Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu being amongst the first few.
Thanks to health and medical scientists, arrival and mass rolling out of vaccines in the Western World since end-December 2020 raised some optimism. Again in absence of universality and adequate availability, a great divide sharpened between the rich and poor nations in terms of opportunity and priority – eventually access to all world citizens to Covid-19 Vaccine anytime soon before 2023 would remain a distant prospect.
Whatsoever, the extent of onslaught that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continues across the world is mind-boggling. Governments should promote their role while continuing to care for the poorest and the unemployed and vulnerable citizens with assistance programs. This reinforces the fundamental importance of life, and calls for social justice to safeguard life. Government bailouts must focus on the extremely poor and vulnerable, as without help they can’t afford buying food and medicines, and those businesses which will protect jobs while producing and supplying essentials.
The JNE would seek creative contributions from thoughtful Economics Researchers, Academics and Real-World Practitioners for its forthcoming 2022 January Issue. Hence, prospective JNE contributions should attach the significance of new economic ideas in the context of Covid-19 pandemic devastations and recovery.
COP26 – Tackling Climate Change
With the advent of Crucial Calendar Year 2020 when the Global Eyes were on historic Climate Change COP26 Summit in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2020, the deadly brutal ‘Novel Coronavirus Disease’ (Covid-19) engulfed the World from March 2020 with devastating effect on Life and Livelihood. The onslaughts from Covid-19 are still ongoing mercilessly in 2021. Even despite, there’s the hope of translating COP26 in November 2021 as the ‘Last Best Chance for Humanity and the Planet’.
Advancing toward the 13th UN SDG - Climate Action by 2030 en route to the Goal of Zero Net Carbon by 2050 is a giant task that requires contributions from all people and all kinds of organizations. Protecting our planet is the most important thing. There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth. The countries need to act fast in slashing carbon emissions, including measures like ending all unabated coal-use as soon as possible, halting almost all direct government support for the fossil fuel energy sector and phasing out petrol and diesel cars.
Given a consensus of the world community, there would be an unprecedented opportunity to drive a Global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live. The world’s richest nations have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system. Accelerating the global shift to renewable energy and sustainable technology is essential indeed.
To quote the World’s Great Naturalist Sir David Attenborough, “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable. Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly plain to see. But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 [at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow] is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?” If that is so, then the global actors must devise a crucially decisive Action Plan 2020s toward halting and reversing bio-diversity loss, protecting the world’s oceans and marine life, mitigating environmental degradation and tackling climate change. This would be the most important milestone in human history.
The JNE would seek creative contributions from thoughtful Economics Researchers, Academics and Real-World Practitioners while attaching the significance of innovative economic ideas in mitigating environment pollution and tackling climate change.