Coronavirus recovery


June 2020

This page has been set up to explore issues and opinions around the idea that recovery from Covid-19, when it comes, offers an opportunity to 'bounce forward' (Rob Hopkins), or 'Build Back Better' - particularly with regard to reducing inequality and taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change - rather than just reverting to 'business as usual'.


>Recovery route map - SP Environment Committee
>Ten priority options for recovery
>Politics, Trauma and Empathy
>Covid recovery and radical social change
>Black Isle recovery plan proposed
>Wellbeing Economy Alliance
>Climate Emergency Response Group 8 policies
>SG committee inquiry into Green Recovery
>HC recognises need for Green Recovery
>FM statement and recovery route map
>TBI signs NEF 'Build Back Better' statement

>TBI responses to Scottish Government
>Committee on Climate Change six principles
>Rob Hopkins - We must 'bounce forward'
>George Monbiot - We must re-think eduction
>Build Back Better and Green New Deal UK
>Anne Orford - After Covid-19, the Climate

November 2020

Comprehensive route-map on Green Recovery essential for Scotland

The creation of a comprehensive route-map to a green recovery from Covid-19, with policy and budgetary coherence at its heart, must be a key priority for the Scottish Government, according to Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

The creation of a comprehensive route-map to a green recovery from Covid-19, with policy and budgetary coherence at its heart, must be a key priority for the Scottish Government, according to Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

In its Green Recovery report published today [8 November 2020], alongside its pre-Budget Scrutiny 2021/22 report, the Committee states that we need an integrated, bold approach to recovery that is based on community cohesion, wellbeing and equality and transcends sectoral boundaries.

The Committee recommends a green recovery route-map is needed to signpost the way: with clear timelines, clear responsibilities for delivery across all parts of the public sector and clear delivery plans for each sector. Budgetary alignment with the responsibilities is vital, as is regular reporting (to the Parliament, and to the people) and the route-map should enable a shared understanding of where we want to be – the vision.

Parliamentary report

The report in full


October 2020

COVID-19: Ten Priority Options for a Just, Green & Transformative Recovery

Partners for Inclusive Green Technologies

The COVID-19 crisis has painfully exposed the deep inequalities and fragilities of the social, financial, political and economic systems under which we live. It has amplified already existing inequalities and exclusion, both within and between countries and communities. As such, it offers a moment for global society to ask: How did we get here? Why are we vulnerable on this scale? And how can we recover? 

Download .PDF document


August 2020

Politics, Trauma and Empathy: Breakthrough to a politics of the heart?

Eva Schonveld and Justin Kenrick

From the Medium  website, via SCCAN

Can this be a turning point for our species?  Do we have time to transform our system or are we already committed through climate feedback loops to the destruction of the ecological systems we rely on to survive?
.   .   .   .   
Our current political system is responsible for dizzying inequalities in wealth and opportunity, resulting in massive suffering for billions of people.  It is impacting on essential earth systems to the point that they are unable to maintain the benign balance of the last 10,000 years.  There are, as is repeatedly pointed out, at most only a handful of years left to address this effectively.  Looking at humans’ track record, and at our current inability to organise ourselves to work together on any issue that counts, the prospects are not looking too good.

Many have long been at rock bottom through the impacts of a system that impoverishes billions for the enrichment of a handful of billionaires. That temporary state of imbalance is almost over. There is no way for it to persist without taking everyone down with it. So here near our collective rock bottom, can we finally acknowledge the depth of change we need to make? Can we face up to the tough shared task of putting together a completely different decision making system?

Read the whole (long) article 



August 2020

Covid recovery and radical social change

In an online article for the Ecologist, Christos Zografos writes

A post-Covid world must genuinely value care, embrace vulnerability, and attack the existing structures of privilege.

The view that radical societal change has been taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic has been expressed by progressive figures and organisations. 

For example, George Monbiot has recorded a series of solidarity, bottom-up community actions to conclude that power has migrated from the market and the state to the commons.

But despite fascinating and hopeful initiatives of solidarity and commoning developed during Covid-19, the experience of inequality during the pandemic seems to suggest that not enough has yet changed.

Read the full article        (7 July 2020)



July 2020

Black Isle Recovery Plan proposed

Since the middle of April a group including representatives of Highland Council, community councils, development trusts and other interested organisations has been meeting under the auspices of the Black Isle Partnership to organise assistance to groups and individuals most severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis and oversee the distribution of Scottish Government funds made available for this purpose.  The Zoom meetings are run by Councillor Gordon Adam with Jon Palmer, Chair of the Black Isle Partnership, also playing a leading role.   A part-time Fund Manager post was created and Asia Cielecka appointed, and the immediate objective of providing emergency assistance has been achieved.

As lockdown measures are gradually eased the group is now turning its attention to formulating a Black Isle Resilience / Recovery plan to be delivered locally with Scottish Government funding, and a wide range of local groups is being asked to contribute ideas about the form this plan should take.  TBI is currently in the process of appointing a representative to the group.  The three main themes that will attract funding are

  • Digital Connectivity
  • Meeting the Green Agenda
  • Forming partnerships (in the widest sense).

All this will form part of a Black Isle Plan that will probably be delivered through an expanded Black Isle Partnership.  "Localism" is an important concept for Highland Council and the Scottish Government, and the Black Isle is seen by many as being  a favourable size to develop its own Recovery Plan.

There is more about Coronavirus support from the Black Isle Partnership and Highland Council at .

BIP newsletter July 2020



July 2020

Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland

The Wellbeing Economy concept overlaps between Coronavirus recovery and the 'Green New Deal' responses to climate change.

About WEAll Scotland

Scotland, a small country with huge ambition, stands poised to accelerate the change required to build a wellbeing economy. 

Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) Scotland is a registered Scottish charity overseen by a board of trustees.  Our work is carried out by a core team of staff members and volunteers, with expertise from a range of backgrounds and extensive networks across Scotland.

What is a Wellbeing Economy?

We believe humanity should determine economics, not the other way around.  Explore the global WEAll resource hub to build your understanding of what a wellbeing economy is and how we can get there.

Why Scotland?

Scotland is a key player in the global movement for a wellbeing economy.  Across Scotland, the purpose of the economy and the dominant model of growth is being reconsidered, with pioneering projects springing up across different sectors.

WEAll Scotland website

Talk by Katherine Trebeck on the Wellbeing Economy and Doughnut Economics, given at a SCCAN / Transition Edinburgh event on 25 June 2020.



July 2020   Climate Emergency Response Group report

Eight policy packages for Scotland’s Green Recovery 

Changeworks / Home Energy Scotland e-news July 2020 reports

The Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) is a collection of like-minded leaders spanning Scotland’s private, public and third sectors, which has used its collective experience and leadership positions to inform the Scottish Government’s response to the climate 
This report is focussed on delivering practical, workable, solutions that the Scottish Government should be implementing now, in order to move Scotland towards a net-zero economy, while recovering from the COVID-19 crisis .  .  . The group welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to the economic recovery plan which “supports Scotland’s wellbeing and transition toward a greener, net zero country.”

This report aims to answer the following questions:     

  • What are some of the areas where the Scottish Government should invest public money and incentivise private investment to deliver a fairer, greener, and more resilient Scotland as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis?    
  • What public spending, fiscal stimulus measures, and policy levers will achieve the most in accelerating Scotland’s response to the climate emergency, whilst improving public health and wellbeing, equalities, and economic outcomes?  

The eight policy packages are

  • City and Town Infrastructure Transformation Programme  
  • Retrofit buildings for a net-zero Scotland 
  • Rural jobs creation programme 
  • Green Enterprise Support 
  • Unlocking private investment with greater policy certainty 
  • Green Scrappage Scheme 
  • Green Future Skills 
  • Expanded Capital Investment Stimulus 

Download the full report    (PDF, 35 pages)



June 2020

SG committee inquiry into Green Recovery

29.06.2020  Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has launched an inquiry into how Scotland can ensure that a green, just and resilient recovery is central in our response to the social and economic challenges of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Read more

The Committe's call for views     (closing date  7 August)  



June 2020

Highland Council recognises need for Green Recovery to meet climate change commitments

Highland Council has issued a press release  'recognis[ing] the pressing need to build on positive behaviour changes and emissions reductions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate the region’s shift to a net zero carbon future, following on from the significant changes which have resulted from the response to date.' 

Read the press release



24 June 2020

First Minister's statement and updated recovery route map

During First Minister's Questions at a Hybrid session of parliament during the last week before the summer recess, Nicola Sturgeon made a statement summarising the latest Covid-19 situation in Scotland and outlining the updated 'road map' for the easing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland.

First Minister's statement

Updated recovery 'route map'



June 2020

TBI signs New Economics Foundation 'Build Back Better' statement

Polling commissioned by the New Economics Foundation shows that just 6% of the public want things to go back to how they were before the Covid-19 crisis.

Inviting support for the 'Build Back Better' statement, which TBI directors have agreed to sign, NEF CEO Miatta Fahnbulleh writes

"Today more than 350 organisations have come together to call for a new settlement that protects vital public services, repairs inequalities, creates good jobs and tackles the climate emergency.
.   .   .   
"They’ve been brought together by the New Economics Foundation, working with a number of other great organisations, for the launch of #BuildBackBetter.
.   .   .  
"A statement is one thing. Turning it into practical policies and building our strength to achieve change is another. But the statement is a start – especially when it’s supported by such a diverse and powerful cross-section of society – and now we will rise to the challenge of making it a reality."

Read the 'Build Back Better' statement



May 2020

TBI signs 'Just & Green Recovery' letter to FM, and responds to Scottish Government recovery consultation

TBI has added our signature to a letter to first Minister Nicola Sturgeon, organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland and supported by Transition Scotland.  The letter asks for a meeting with her to urge the importance of taking the opportunity which will be offered by the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis to build a juster and greener society in Scotland, rather than just returning to 'business as usual'

"The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare how inequality is lethal to human life, but it has also shone a light on acts of solidarity and cooperation and centred the vital role of public services, key workers and unpaid carers. Amidst a global threat to human rights and democracy, this crisis has also brought forward the possibility of an economic revival that ensures resilience to future crises, including the climate emergency.

"The recovery from Coronavirus is a rare chance to markedly accelerate the repurposing of government away from the prioritisation of economic growth and towards goals of wellbeing and sustainability, ending inequality and environmental destruction. This is a time for system change."

Read the letter in full      

List of signatory organisations

SG Advisory Group on Economic Recovery consultation

"The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery has been established by the Scottish Government to provide independent expert advice on supporting the sectors and regions of Scotland's economy to recover from the impact of Covid-19 .   .   .  the Advisory Group wants to hear your views on the current context and the interventions that will make the most positive difference to Scotland’s economic recovery in order to inform their recommendations"

TBI director Julian Paren has submitted a very full response to the consultation questionnaire on behalf of TBI.

Read Julian's response



May 2020

Committee on Climate Change demands urgent action on six key principles for a resilient recovery

In letters to the Prime Minister and First Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Committee on Climate Change sets out six key principles to rebuild the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic whilst delivering a stronger, cleaner and more resilient economy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are integral to the UK’s recovery package, the Committee says.

The six principles in outline

  1. Use climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs
  2. Lead a shift towards positive, long-term behaviours
  3. Tackle the wider ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change
  4. Embed fairness as a core principle
  5. Ensure the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk
  6. Strengthen incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes.

The letter in full

What is the Committee on Climate Change?



May 2020

Rob Hopkins - We must 'bounce forward' from Coronavirus


Rob Hopkins, cofounder and leading voice of the Transition movement, has written a blog highlighting the response of Transition groups around the world to the Covid-19 crisis, and pointing out that in some cases these local initiatives have been ahead of their governments' actions.  He writes

"Central to the Transition movement from the outset has been the idea of resilience. Usually framed as the ability to ‘bounce back’, it is seen in the Transition movement as being better imagined as the capacity to ‘bounce forward’, i.e. to use it as the opportunity to move forward to something better. How then to ‘bounce forward’ from COVID-19 in such a way that we also move to a way of doing things consistent with the scale of the climate crisis?"

Read the blog



May 2020

George Monbiot - We must re-think education


Imagine mentioning William Shakespeare to a university graduate and discovering they had never heard of him. You would be incredulous. But it’s common and acceptable not to know what an arthropod is, or a vertebrate, or to be unable to explain the difference between an insect and spider. No one is embarrassed when a “well-educated” person cannot provide even a rough explanation of the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle or the water cycle, or of how soils form.

All this is knowledge as basic as being aware that Shakespeare was a playwright. Yet ignorance of such earthy matters sometimes seems to be worn as a badge of sophistication. I love Shakespeare, and I believe the world would be a poorer and a sadder place without him. But we would survive. The issues about which most people live in ignorance are, by contrast, matters of life and death.

Read the full article     The Guardian    12 May 2020
The deficiencies of our democracy        Guardian  3 June 2020



May 2020

Build Back Better  and  Green New Deal UK

The campaign for a coronavirus recovery plan that builds back better.
Let’s not go back to normal. It’s time for a new deal that protects public services, tackles inequality in our communities, provides secure well-paid jobs and creates a shockproof economy which can fight the climate crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down, exposing major weaknesses in our economy and the deep-seated inequalities in our society that mean the most vulnerable people have been hit the hardest.

But what we do next could change everything. As the world recovers, we have a chance to reset the clock and build back better than before.

‍Build Back Better demands


The Build Back Better campaign is hosted by Green New Deal UK .



March 2020

After Covid-19, the Climate  

Anne Orford        London Review of Books   17 March 2020

Could our reaction to Covid-19 teach us how to approach climate change?

"By late last year, it seemed clear that decades of attempts to coax governments and business leaders into taking seriously the risks posed by the climate crisis were leading nowhere. Yet faced with the far more immediate threats posed by a global pandemic, states that for decades had been committed to neoliberal thinking have slowly begun to embrace such radically old-fashioned ideas as planning for the future, relying on scientific expertise, or calling on their constituents to make sacrifices in order to protect vulnerable members of society."





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