As the world deals with multiple waves of the pandemic, Latin America has shown that inequality is its achilles heel in mounting an effective response. While the region has made significant progress in overcoming poverty and reducing inequality over the last few decades, it remains one of the most unequal regions in the world. This means not only are the poorest and most vulnerable in society the most exposed to crises such as climate change, they’re also the least able to escape them. Climate related events, just as COVID-19, are expanding the inequality gap, and they continue to grow in frequency and intensity. Latin America will likely come out of this crisis poorer and with higher income inequality, and thus more vulnerable to ensuing climatic events.
Returning to “business as usual” is not an option. Latin America must focus its efforts on a people-centred recovery that focuses on well-being, improves inclusiveness and reduces inequality.