The COVID-19 pandemic is imposing devastating health and social costs worldwide. At the same time there is also a crisis of climate change which demands urgent action. In planning for economic activity after the pandemic, a green recovery must be designed to generate co-benefits for social equity, the environment and human health.

In this Communiqué, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) draws on previous work by academies to identify challenges and science-based solutions across multiple sectors to effect fundamental recovery transitions worldwide that support the imperative for rapid decarbonisation. Acting on a robust evidence base, there must be rapid reduction in fossil fuel use and other sources of greenhouse gas emissions, together with greater recognition of the value of ecosystem services and of the potential for climate change mitigation policy to bring significant human health benefits. International coordination to focus attention on the needs of the most vulnerable is essential, aligning recovery actions with existing strategic initiatives, in particular the Sustainable Development Goals and other UN Agreements on biodiversity and climate change. These urgent priorities necessitate strengthening the capacity to support science-informed decision-making at national, regional and global levels.