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The Global Resilience Imperative

Today’s catastrophic risks to global health, climate, and biodiversity call for urgent collective action that makes humans true stewards of the planet. This involves recognizing that everyone’s individual health and prosperity depends on respecting planetary boundaries and properly managing what belongs to all of us.

POTSDAM – As the COVID-19 crisis passes and governments try to shore up collapsing economies, many will be tempted to roll back their climate and nature commitments. They should resist that impulse.

This century will be characterized by speed, scale, connectivity, and surprise, with global pandemics, climate chaos, deforestation, and mass extinctions of species invariably interacting with and reinforcing one another. If today’s short-term measures to reopen economies do not promote long-term economic resilience through effective governance of the global commons, the next disaster will be only a matter of time.

That is because we face a new risk landscape, of which COVID-19 is merely the latest manifestation. That landscape defines our current geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humanity is the dominant force and source of pressure on the planet.

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