University of Oulu

Halme, M., Furman, E., Apajalahti, E.-L., Jaakkola, J., Linnanen, L., Lyytimäki, J., Mönkkänen, M., Salonen, A. O., Soini, K., Siivonen, K., Toivonen, T., & Tolvanen, A. (2021). 2. From efficiency to resilience: Systemic change towards sustainability after covid-19 pandemic. In S. Böhm & S. Sullivan (Eds.), Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis (pp. 13–24). Open Book Publishers.

From efficiency to resilience : systemic change towards sustainability after the COVID-19 pandemic

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Author: Halme, M.1; Furman, E.2; Apajalahti, E.-L.3;
Organizations: 1Aalto University School of Business
2Environmental Policy Center at the Finnish Environment Institute
3Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Sciences, HELSUS, in the University of Helsinki
4Public Health at the University of Oulu
5Finnish Meteorological Institute
6Environmental Economics and Management at LUT University, Lahti, Finland
7Finnish Environment Institute, Environmental Policy Center
8University of Helsinki, Finland
9Applied Ecology at the University of Jyväskylä
10Social Pedagogy and Sustainable Well- Being at the University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies
11University of Helsinki
12Finnish National Defence University
13University of Eastern Finland
14Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
15Futures Studies at Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku (UTU)
16Cultural Heritage Studies (UTU)
17Geoinformatics at the University of Helsinki
18LandClimate research programme in the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Open book publishers, 2021
Publish Date: 2023-01-30


The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of current socio-economic systems and thrown into question the dominant global paradigm geared towards short-term financial efficiency. Although it has been acknowledged for several decades that this paradigm has detrimental impacts on the climate, the environment and global welfare, the pandemic has now offered a grim ‘rehearsal round’ for more serious crises that are to come with the accelerating climate emergency, loss of biodiversity and growing human inequalities. Along with worsening climate change, there are looming risks for mass migrations and armed conflicts as habitats capable of supporting human wellbeing become scarce, such as through the loss of potable water, an increasing lack of suitable land for agriculture, or the rise of unliveable temperatures. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily decreased some of the climate impacts, e.g. in the energy and transportation sectors, it has at the same time accelerated several global welfare problems. In this chapter, we claim that the way out of the crisis scenario is to replace the dominant efficiency paradigm with a resilience paradigm. Against the backbone of the key societal systems outlined in the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR 2019), we show how the pursuit of narrowly-defined efficiency hampers present and future sustainability, and chart some key actions on the path to transforming these systems towards resilience.

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ISBN: 978-1-80064-262-1
ISBN Print: 978-1-80064-260-7
Pages: 13 - 24
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0265.02
Host publication: Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis
Host publication editor: Böhm, Steffen
Sullivan, Sian
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Copyright information: © 2021 Minna Halme et al., CC BY 4.0. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the text; to adapt the text and to make commercial use of the text providing attribution is made to the authors (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Attribution should include the following information: Steffen Böhm and Sian Sullivan (eds), Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2021, Copyright and permissions for the reuse of many of the images included in this publication differ from the above. This information is provided in the captions and in the list of illustrations. In order to access detailed and updated information on the license, please visit Further details about CC BY licenses are available at