An alternative economy: justice between the environmental and economic aspects

Our region is by no means isolated from the biggest challenge facing our planet… climate change. On the contrary, we are experiencing the effects of this crisis every day, such as the extreme forest fires we have been witnessing recently. The urgency in addressing this crisis requires immediate intervention and raising important questions against the backdrop of environmental ideas and movements happening all around the world.

The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that our current system does not prioritize environmental issues and does not appreciate the depth of their consequences on health and the economy. Capitalism is an economic system that prioritizes profits with little regard to the totality of the needs of individuals and broader groups. What we need today is an economic model that places the needs of people and the environment above narrow economic interests, and raises the importance of health services and the preservation of life. What we aspire to, and is urgently necessary, is an “alternative economy” that is sustainable and depends on clean and renewable energy, and which prioritizes public health.

Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa, along with the Arab Forum for Alternatives, raised these topics in a series of webinars that were held during the months of March and April 2021 in which they discussed the challenges and principles of a just and sustainable economic recovery in the region in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinars gathered a number of academics, economists, politicians and social activists representing different organizations and stakeholders.

A series of research papers which tackle the subject comprehensively have been drafted in conclusion. We put these papers in your hands, and we hope that in reaching decision-makers and opening up new spaces for discussion, we can soon implement the plans to see them through. To view the research papers: “A Region in Danger: Justice between Environmental and Economic Aspects”, click here (content is available in Arabic).