SASE RISE V – 2021
Climate Change, Social Inequality and Health Crisis in Ibero-America Countries
At the beginning of the 21st century, the Covid-19 pandemic has marked the future of humanity, exacerbating social problems in Latin America and abroad, and making it increasingly difficult to achieve general well-being in a context of greater contamination that aggravates the situation. Current generations face a singular health challenge that has had widespread effects on the various activities and living conditions of the population—a new fact that has not only deepened old problems, but revealed new ones as well.
Although the origin of the problem is common—the SARS-Cov-2 virus—its impacts on different societies, nations, and regions of the planet are and will continue to be heterogeneous; likewise its effects on economies, social relations, well-being, and rights in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
At the beginning of this century, the region of Latin America was continuing to insert itself into the international economy, largely through the export of commodities. The financial crisis of 2008-2009, and then the pandemic, interrupted and reduced growth rates in several countries, while others were able to reduce the impact thanks to the diversity of their resources. Countries such as Argentina found themselves below the average growth rate of 1.8% and others, such as Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru, above.
From a social perspective, it has not been possible in recent decades to reduce the massive levels of poverty that affect a large part of the inhabitants of Latin America, nor to reduce the historical socio-economic inequality that has characterized it. And the reactions to the spread of the coronavirus have brought with them a weakening of social cohesion and greater expressions of discontent and vulnerability.
The high mortality, the huge demands on resources for public health, and the paralysis of the physical mobility of goods and people is taking a significant economic toll on all countries in the region. Relatedly, the closure of parts of industry and the reduction of international flights and transport, for example, have meant a decreased use of fossil fuels, which has contributed to reducing air pollution, leading to a degree of optimism regarding environmental sustainability. Such optimism, however, may well be temporary, since it is probable that pollution will begin where it left off upon reactivation.
From a political point of view, Latin America entered the 21st century after a period of expansion of democratic methods for the election of its governments, although in general this did not translate to more governance or the consolidation of states and laws. As such, democratic institutions in several Latin American countries appear to be undergoing processes of deconstruction.
In general, the prospects for economic reactivation both at the world level and in the Ibero-American continent as a whole depend, in the first instance, on the success of the dissemination of scientific advances to immunize the population. Following that, prospects depend on the implementation of economic and social policies that pursue more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development for the region.
- Juan Eleazar Anicama (UNMSM-Perú)
- Carlos Armas Morales (UNMSM-Perú)
- Javier Baquero López (UAM, España)
- Jorge Luis Delgado (UCSG, Ecuador)
- Laura Pérez Ortiz (UAM-España),
- Marta do Reis Castillo (UFRJ-Brasil)
- Cristian Darío Robello (UCB, Colombia)
- Julimar da Silva Bichara (UAM-España)
- Annelies Fryberger, Executive Director of SASE
- Pat Zraidi, SASE
- Jacob Bromberg, SASE