How Governments Can Boost a Green Recovery

In an article published in September 2020, authors from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) make the case for scaling up green recovery efforts worldwide. The article underlines that well-designed economic stimulus packages can create much-needed jobs and lower emissions while also transforming the countries for leadership in the green economy over the longer term. The authors clearly illustrate the wide range of benefits from green recovery measures, differentiating the direct, indirect, non-economic, and future benefits. In their research, they also provide an overview of the short- and long-term job creation potential of different recovery programs, for instance, related to energy efficiency, natural capital, and transportation.

Observing that the preconditions for a green recovery differ a lot between countries, the article identifies seven country archetypes that reflect the industrial mix and the capabilities and skills of its workforce. For example, Denmark is labelled a “renewable-resource-rich economy,” Germany belongs to the “fossil fuel importers,” and Vietnam is identified as a “low-wage, high-skill economy.” The article then presents concrete green recovery approaches for all seven country archetypes. The authors note that countries that depend heavily on fossil fuels and have weak balance sheets might find the implementation of a green recovery less feasible.

Following this categorization, the BCG article outlines best practices that could help countries deliver a successful green recovery, for instance, regarding wide-ranging political support, monitoring, consistency with overall government policy, and an equitable transition. Stressing the huge potential of green recovery measures, the authors conclude:

Well-designed, well-executed green recovery plans can bend the curve downward on emissions and push the economic growth curve upward, helping secure a more prosperous, secure, and resilient future.