Green Recovery: ADB outlines pathway to a low-carbon and resilient future

In August 2020, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) published a brochure informing countries about sustainable recovery opportunities. Apart from presenting the central reasons for a green recovery, the document, called A Pathway to a Low-Carbon and Resilient Future, also entails three items that could help decision-makers design such programs:

  • It lists possible low-carbon and resilience-enhancing recovery measures, such as labour market programs, to protect natural assets and green infrastructure, energy-efficiency schemes, education and capacity building, and rural green infrastructure projects.
  • It outlines a stepwise approach to designing recovery programs that covers 7 steps, from the definition of a clear vision to the identification of policy and institutional changes.
  • The document includes an assessment framework to help decision-makers evaluate the potential of low-carbon, climate- and disaster-resilient recovery interventions. A wide range of sectors and measures is covered, including low-carbon energy infrastructure, building retrofits, labour market programs related to reforestation, and improving agricultural value chains. For each measure, the assessment framework suggests evaluating to what extent it meets requirements to recover sustainably and successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, related to implementation timelines, labour intensity, and the support of a long-term transformation.

The ADB highlights that countries do not have the time or financial resources to deal with the COVID-19 and climate crises separately and therefore calls for stimulus packages that address the climate crisis and help build resilience simultaneously:

“Countries have an unprecedented opportunity to use the required state interventions and accompanying stimulus to support a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future; tackle the climate crisis; and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity.”