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Reforestation could play role in pandemic recovery jobs creation, says IMF’s Georgieva

Low-carbon, climate-resilient economies central
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Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, is the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director—the 12th since the Fund’s inception in 1944. Used under creative commons licence. Handout/International Monetary Fund

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Policymakers in many European countries are saying that growth must be low carbon and climate resilient as they put forward stimulus packages to restore economies amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Friday.

Investing in low-carbon climate resilient growth is a fabulous way to boost profitability and to create 65 million jobs easily through climate actions, whether in reforestation, land degradation, buildings insulation or the generation of low carbon businesses and activities, she added.

The current unemployment rate ranges between 10 and 15 percent, but the target is 4 percent, she said.

Georgieva made the remarks in a Reuters Newsmaker digital broadcast interview during which she said that economic recovery efforts must be implemented now, despite the ongoing prevalence of COVID-19 worldwide.

“We have to restart growth, and climate action is a great win-win proposition when it comes down to wide use of public money and huge opportunities for private investments,” Georgieva said, responding to a question about the threat of the climate crisis.

This week, the IMF released projections of a deep global recession due to the economic fallout from social distancing measures. It anticipates a global gross domestic product (GDP) contraction of 4.9 percent this year and a total output loss of $12 trillion through the end of 2021, Reuters reported.

In her remarks, Georgieva cited the New Climate Economy commission, a major international initiative established to examine how countries can achieve economic growth while dealing with the risks posed by climate change.

“Young people give me a lot of confidence,” she said. “What I see is that the generation that is going be most severely hit by the climate crisis is not willing anymore to be silent on this topic.”

The IMF, governed by 189 member countries, aims to reduce global poverty, promote financial stability, economic growth, international trade and promote financial stability. The coronavirus crisis could test the funds $1 trillion in total resources, “but we’re not there yet,” Georgieva told Reuters.

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