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COVID, climate and inequality: this week's Great Reset podcast

Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, United Kingdom speaking during the Session "Strategic Outlook on Consumption" at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 22, 2019. Congress Centre - Aspen 2.Copyright by World Economic Forum / Jakob Polacsek

Companies that don't have a net-zero target "should be ashamed of themselves" - Unilever CEO Alan Jope Image: World Economic Forum / Jakob Polacsek

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum
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The Great Reset

This article is part of: Sustainable Development Impact Summit
  • World Economic Forum hosts Great Reset Dialogues every fortnight.
  • 'Restoring the Health of People and Planet' looked at climate and inequality.
  • Hear the highlights podcast and watch the entire session.
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The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world's ability to diverge from business-as-usual to protect public health and safety. How can we carry that over to address the threats of climate change and socio-economic injustice?

That was the question posed at the latest Great Reset Dialogue, the fortnightly event hosted by the World Economic Forum, this time as part of its Sustainable Development Impact Summit.

Have you read?

Speakers:

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations

Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan

Katharine Hayhoe, Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University @KHayhoe

COVID-19 SDI2020 Global Health SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
The inequality challenge. Image: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Goalkeepers 2020

Jargon buster:

Some of the terms used in this week's episode, explained:

  • Externalities: costs (or benefited) associated with producing a product that are paid for by the environment or society rather than by the consumer - such as pollution or waste.
  • Net-zero: When a company - or a country - says it will go net-zero, that means it will not produce any greenhouse gas emissions, or, if it can’t achieve complete zero, it will offset emissions it is still producing by things such as carbon sequestration - using methods to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (Unilever's press release)
  • Circular economy: one in which we re-use or recycle products, as opposed to the 'take-make-dispose' approach.
  • EPR - extended producer responsibility is policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products.
  • Non-financial reporting - is when companies issue regular reports on things other than merely profit and loss - so, for example, on progress towards net-zero carbon emissions. Watch this video for more:
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Forum InstitutionalClimate ActionHealth and Healthcare Systems
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