The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging effects on our everyday lives and the response by governments across the world has brought forward the need for a temporary slowdown of economic activity. As a result of this, we have also seen a drastic improvement in air quality, with less vehicles on the road and a general decrease of human impact on the environment. 

Therefore, as governments prepare to start the recovery process and to get their economies back on track, the concept of sustainability has never been more important.  

The lesson that must be learned from all this is that early action is as important as ever and this needs to apply in ensuring that recovery policies not only seek to get economies back into gear, but also to properly protect the environment. 

The EU is in a particularly advantageous position to do this, with the European Green Deal still in its early days and certainly set to be on the frontlines of all future European policies. 

Ultimately it is up to Member States to ensure that their recovery plans are sustainable and that sustainable development of post-COVID-19 economies is the main priority.