to render the environment an afterthought


Senior Member
Korea, Korean
But green groups are wary that severe economic strains may once again render the environment an afterthought. Friends of Nature, one of China's first environmental groups, outlined its concerns this week in a statement.

This is from an article in TIME and the article is about China's polluted air.

It seems the underlined part is an idiom or an idiomatic expression.

I'd like to know what it means.
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    For some time, environmental issues have been considered important. Politicians, perhaps in response to public pressure, have been prepared to give time to them and indeed to consider committing resources to them.

    Green groups are concerned that increasing concern about economic issues may make politicians less enthusiastic about such issues, and indeed may reduce the public interest.

    They are concerned that green issues - concern for the environment - may as a result be no longer at the forefront of the political and public mind - they may become an afterthought.
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