New Zealand's government under the leadership under Jacinda Ardern has done an incredible job at containing the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to her government's emphasis on the care of her citizens rather than on prematurely opening the economy.
But there will be a world after the coronavirus crisis is over, and the New Zealand government intends to begin the recovery by creating green jobs.
The coronavirus spread because, as a panel of international scientists noted in a release issued this week, "There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic — us. Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of wild species have created a 'perfect storm' for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people."
The Green Party of New Zealand has unveiled a $1 billion dollar plan. The plan will create 7,000 jobs over the next three years to New Zealand's chief industry, tourism. The stipulation is that the work must be environmentally sustainable.
"These work opportunities are well suited to those who have worked outdoors such as tourist guides currently out of work, have people and project management skills or who want to quickly retrain and get their hands dirty helping nature," notes Eugenie Sage, a Green Party member who also serves as environment minister, in a press release.
"Our tourism industry depends on the health of our nature, and culture, and so it is important to invest in this critical infrastructure, rather than just bulldozers and asphalt."
"This investment creates thriving native forests and wetlands, assets that last centuries and suck carbon out of the atmosphere," Sage explains. "It will avoid future pest control costs, better buffer coastal areas from sea level rise and provide corridors for birds to come back to neighbourhoods.
"There are all sorts of exciting projects across the country that are planned and ready to go, and this funding could see them get started immediately."
The party's recently called for $9 billion to be spent on electric trains as a sustainable and practical alternative to cars may also face an uphill climb. For now, the plan has not been put forward as government policy, but it's the official platform of the party. It's a big step for building a better future that we can all hopefully follow through in a post-coronavirus world.