Sustainable Recovery 2020

Sustainable Recovery 2020
For whom? How green? Why now?

The myriad economic stimulus packages that have been launched in 2020 offer an important opportunity to fast track sustainable development. This time, we must get it right.

The Sustainable Recovery 2020 campaign of IISD´s Infrastructure Program advocates that this unprecedented global wave of public spending is allocated exclusively to economic actors and infrastructure projects that minimize impacts on nature, account for climate risks, stimulate green innovation, and improve social cohesion.


We are using the Sustainable Asset Valuation, or SAVi, to run “What-If” SIMULATIONS that assess the societal outcomes of green stimulus packages and measures.

Why Investing in Sustainable Community Development Is a Pragmatic Recovery Plan: The case for Ghana

A series of four What-If simulations have been conducted in a vulnerable agricultural community in Ghana on sustainable recovery investments that can foster sustainable community development. These simulations were done in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund.


Green Recovery Plans Can Unlock Millions More Jobs Than ‘Return-to-Normal’ Stimulus

As EU leaders continue to thrash out the details of the bloc’s recovery measures, there is growing evidence a green recovery is the best way of tackling the mounting economic and jobs crisis—both in the short and long terms. COVID-19 is going to result in a substantial economic cost, both in gross domestic product (GDP)…Read more »

How Can Procurement Drive the Global Green Recovery?

Public procurement is more crucial than ever, as most of the COVID-19 recovery spending will be channelled through this process—so how can we ensure it drives innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability? And can we take this opportunity to rebrand it as a strategic (not just administrative) government function? As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic began, we saw an…Read more »

Next Webinars

Our new webinar series will unpack recovery and stimulus questions. Join us for a substantial half hour of good conversation.

Avoiding a Zombie Recovery: Public money for clean energy, not for fossil fuels

16. November 2020, 3 P.M. Central European Time As part of the London Climate Action Week, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and partners organize an interactive session about green recovery efforts in the energy sector. The event is related to the EnergyPolicyTracker.Org, a project by over 20 independent research organizations tracking public money…Read more »

Read about further COVID-19 related work of IISD.


Japan Unveils USD 700 Billion Stimulus Package

On December 8, 2020, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced a new USD 708 billion economic stimulus package. The package will comprise about USD 384.5 billion in direct fiscal spending and initiatives aiming at reducing carbon emissions and fostering digital innovation. For example, USD 19.2 billion is earmarked for a fund to promote carbon neutrality…Read more »

Recovery Plan: Italy intends to invest in a green transition and sustainable mobility

The Italian government unveiled the outline of the national COVID-19 recovery plan, which will allocate a total of EUR 196 billion to six key areas. The plan includes the following investments: EUR 74.3 billion is earmarked for a green revolution and ecologic transition.EUR 48.7 billion will go toward digitalization and innovation.EUR 27.7 billion will be…Read more »

UN Secretary-General Calls for Green Recovery to Save the Planet

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the urgency of a green recovery in a speech on December 2, 2020. In his address at Columbia University in New York, he painted a bleak picture of the state of the planet, pointing to the concerning results of the provisional State of the Global Climate report by the…Read more »

Finland Plans to Use EU Stimulus Funds for Green Recovery

The Government of Finland intends to invest European Union (EU) stimulus funds in reducing carbon emissions and fostering ecological sustainability. Finland will receive about EUR 2.3 billion from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility during 2021–2023. These funds form part of the EUR 750 billion recovery fund that the EU is planning to provide to…Read more »

U.K. Presents Spending Review and Infrastructure Strategy

On November 25, the Government of the United Kingdom presented its spending review and the first National Infrastructure Strategy. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an investment of GBP 100 billion in infrastructure in 2021/2022. Despite recent political commitments, the National Infrastructure Strategy includes little new spending for green projects. For instance, GBP 27 billion is earmarked…Read more »

Green New Deal Fund: London invests GBP 10 million in sustainable recovery

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched the first part of London’s Green New Deal fund. The investments of GBP 10 million aim to boost green jobs, tackle climate change, and address inequalities. This first phase of the package is expected to secure around 1,000 green jobs—for instance, related to solar panel installation and energy…Read more »

New Zealand launched NZD 70 Million Industry Decarbonization Fund

The Government of New Zealand has launched a NZD 70 million fund to accelerate the decarbonization of industrial process heat and foster a clean COVID-19 recovery. The fund will offer financial support to businesses and industries to switch from boilers run on coal and gas to cleaner electricity and biomass options. Announced on November 11,…Read more »

UK Government Outlines 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution

On November 17, 2020, the United Kingdom government unveiled its 10-point green recovery plan. The GBP 12 billion stimulus package will benefit the green economy across the country, for instance going toward carbon capture, hydrogen, nuclear, electric vehicles, and renewable energy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson estimates that the green recovery plan will create 250,000 new…Read more »