Global asymmetries influence policies for recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean. Nearly 30 years after the Earth Summit and the global adoption of an international development agenda, in practical terms the environmental pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has not been taken into consideration in recovery policies in the region. This has created major problems in terms of the medium- and long-term direction of regional economies.
On balance, recovery measures —which have focused on maintaining consumption or offsetting falls in it— have weakened non-health public services, territorial monitoring, and social and governmental monitoring functions. Transfers to support consumption strengthen an unsustainable development pattern and recovery measures prolong the anchoring to an approach that results in high vulnerability to environmental impacts, with unchanged or increased dependence on fossil fuels. The region is squandering the opportunity to use the recovery effort to enhance production and consumption patterns and improve the quality and coverage of public services, which the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has shown to be very important. This Special Report is the thirteenth in a series prepared by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on the evolution and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.