Leaders around the world are seeking to address the health and economic fallouts of the COVID-19 crisis, while also confronting the reality of the climate crisis. Responding to this combination of crises will require decisive action. Recent analyses suggest that implementing green strategies for pandemic recovery along with ambitious climate policies can have positive short-run and long-term effects in terms of jobs, poverty reduction, GDP growth, and social and equity goals.
Evidence from Oxford University demonstrates that economic recovery policies can effectively deliver both economic and climate benefits. IEA’s Sustainable Recovery Plan shows that investing $1 trillion (0.7% of global GDP) each year between 2021-2023 in six key energy sectors (transportation, industry, electricity, fuels, buildings and emerging low-carbon technologies) could increase worldwide economic growth by 1.1% each year — boosting jobs faster than what would be achieved with investments in the fossil fuel sector.
At the same time, the list of countries pledging ambitious climate action by submitting enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as part of their commitments to the Paris Agreement and establishing net-zero emissions targets is growing. As of early 2021, 59 countries responsible for 53% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions had set targets to zero out their emissions, most committing to do so by 2050. This includes more than half of the G20 economies.