The World Resources Institute reports that the rate of return of climate adaptation investments ranges from 2:1 to 10:1. The investments considered in the simulation include strengthening early warning systems, making new infrastructure climate resilient, improving dryland agriculture for crop production, protecting mangroves, and making water resources more resilient. These five investment areas alone can generate up to USD 7.1 trillion in net benefits. The authors highlight that failing to include climate adaptation in the current stimulus and recovery strategies will come back to haunt us with a double burden: a failure to make economies and societies more resilient to future shocks and even more fiscal restraints than there are today.
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 »
The evidence is crystal clear that fossil fuel subsidies are environmentally harmful and undermine efforts to tackle climate change. In the aftermath of COVID-19, governments have an opportunity to use subsidy reform and fuel taxation as tools for a green recovery. (…) Today’s low global oil prices provide a chance for countries to reform their fossil fuel subsidies without...Read more »
Around the world, the number of people walking and cycling has risen to unprecedented levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the number of kilometres travelled by bike in Switzerland doubled during the country’s partial lockdown, while counting stations in Philadelphia saw the number of cyclists increase by an average of 150%. Government leaders are...Read more »
To ensure this spending does in fact “build back better,” governments must tie their spending to sustainability targets or conditions.
A conversation with Prof. Gail Whiteman, Founder, Arctic Basecamp Monday, July 6, 2020, 6:00 PM Central European Summer Time (CEST). Are we indeed seeing a low-carbon recovery? What are the early signs and who are the front runners? And should we be doing more to reward them? Post-pandemic greenhouse gas emissions are rising, and, as we...Read more »
Examples of economic stimulus packages announced in March 2020 Can these economic stimulus packages be accompanied by targets on environmental performance, social cohesion, and economic governance? The humanitarian crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be devastating, and targeting stimulus spending on emergency responses, healthcare, food security, and keeping jobs and small businesses alive...Read more »
A conversation with Joseph Intsiful, a Senior Specialist at the Green Climate Fund who focuses on climate information and early warning systems, and Andrea Bassi, Senior Associate, IISD and CEO KnowlEdge. Webinar 2: July 10, 2020, at 10:00 AM Central European Summer Time (CEST) Watch the webinar’s full recording below: Joseph and Andrea explored why...Read more »
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.
This What-If simulation estimates the impact of investing in climate-smart crop management interventions in a rural community in Ghana. Costs and benefits, including externalities, are estimated for two financing scenarios: one that includes the provision of sustainable recovery support by the Green Climate Fund and one that does not.
This What-If simulation estimates the costs and societal benefits from investing in drip irrigation infrastructure for a rural community in Ghana. The simulation results serve to inform the Green Climate Fund and other public donors and investors whether such irrigation infrastructure should be targeted by sustainable recovery financing.
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 »
In Argentina, green debt relief has supported forest conservation, an approach that can and should be scaled up as coronavirus stretches budgets. At last month’s meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), three topics dominated the conversation: the coronavirus pandemic, greening the recovery, and climate change. For many developing countries, especially the poorest, the overwhelming...Read more »
Investments into Canada’s social, human, and natural capital are needed to ensure growth is sustained, equitable and opportunity-generating. Canada’s economy has been repeatedly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fall-out. The combination of economic shutdowns, social distancing requirements, low oil prices and historic declines in export volumes have extended the downturn. As both...Read more »
Cities are on the frontlines of COVID-19, with urban residents facing devastating health and economic impacts. Many city leaders are responding with creative solutions, recognizing that actions in response to the pandemic can also make cities greener and more climate resilient. Addis Ababa, Bogota, Kampala, Berlin and Brussels created new bike lanes to reduce risk...Read more »
Canadians want a green and inclusive recovery. Here’s how to advance both. The damage that COVID-19’s dual economic and health crises have brought on Canada have been well-documented. Although the economy has started to recover, Canadians continue to face a lengthy period of economic turbulence ahead. The federal government has indicated that spending on an...Read more »
This SAVi what-if simulation forecasts the economic and environmental benefits of investing in energy efficiency and flood resilience within Canada's building sector. The forecasts point to substantial net benefits, demonstrating this to be a sustainable recovery strategy.
The global health crisis has left us no choice but to demand a transformative future where more adaptable, flexible, multi-purpose and inclusive infrastructure can help society stay resilient in the face of looming threats. As we emerge from this coronavirus pandemic, what future should we anticipate? Listening to some politicians and pundits, we are led...Read more »
A conversation with Leonardo Garrido, Lead Economist, New Climate Economy, and Andrea Bassi, CEO, KnowlEdge, and Senior Associate, IISD. 15 July 2020, at 4:00 PM Central European Summer Time Watch the webinar’s full recording: Planning a low-carbon recovery requires that we look ahead to determine how public spending today can trigger economic growth tomorrow. But growth...Read more »
On October 26, 2020, The Rockefeller Foundation announced its commitment of USD 1 billion over the next 3 years to strengthen health systems and improve access to clean energy in developing countries. This commitment to green recovery in developing countries intends to rebuild economies and secure a safer future. Beyond the economic benefits that this...Read more »
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published its new flagship report, Energy Technology Perspectives 2020. It analyses more than 800 different technology options to assess pathways to reaching net-zero emissions by 2070 while ensuring a resilient and secure energy system. According to the report, transitioning only the power sector to clean energy would get the...Read more »
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) published a paper about the use of debt swaps to address the debt, climate, and biodiversity crises. Published in September 2020, the paper illustrates how governments could address this triple crisis in their COVID-19 recovery packages using debt for climate and nature program swaps. According to the...Read more »
On August 27, 2020, partners of the U.K. Ignition project launched the report Nature-Based Solutions to the Climate Emergency: The Benefits to Business and Society. The project’s aim is to develop innovative financing solutions for investments in Greater Manchester’s natural environment, helping the city to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The report presents...Read more »
On August 26, 2020, The Guardian reported the creation of a new joint venture that seeks to invest billions in natural capital around the world. HSBC Global Asset Management and Pollination, a climate advisory and investment firm, are forming the world’s largest investment firm dedicated to environmentally friendly projects beyond renewable energy. The plan is...Read more »
In August 2020, the Biofuture Platform launched a set of voluntary principles designed to help economies create jobs in the bioenergy sector. The Biofuture Platform is a government-led, multi-stakeholder initiative supporting international coordination for a low-carbon bioeconomy. The bioenergy sector, currently employing around 3 million people worldwide, was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. At...Read more »
In August 2020, more than 100 economists called for an end to the carbon economy in a letter published by The Guardian. They argue that, while the current crisis drastically reveals the weaknesses of the current economic system, it also offers a window of opportunity to build back better and foster stability. The letter includes...Read more »
On July 6, 2020, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) released a framework to guide investors in engaging with policy-makers on a sustainable recovery. UN PRI writes that, as policy-makers are rolling out recovery strategies, investors should engage with them to provide technical expertise and to ensure that capital is steered toward...Read more »
In June, E3G and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program published a report on how climate-friendly cooling can support a clean, resilient Covid-19 recovery. They identified six key opportunities for including sustainable cooling solutions in stimulus packages that can create jobs, reduce emissions, secure the supply chains of medical care products and food, and boost the...Read more »
Bloomberg’s Supply Lines provides thought provoking perspectives Jim Thompson, founder and chairman of Crown Worldwide Group. Thomson draws from experience since 1965 in the logistics industry. He suggests that COVID 19’s supply chain disruptions will signify and bumpy ride rather and a dramatic fall in global trade. Thomson also remains skeptical that digital technologies and...Read more »
Evidence is emerging regarding the consequences of economic and income inequality. The UN High Commission for Human Rights reports on the disproportionately severe impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethic minorities. Likely causes for the higher death rates across minorities in all countries include poor health care, overcrowded housing, exposure to environmental risks, and broader...Read more »
The International Energy Agency (IEA) in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a Sustainable Recovery Plan on June 18th, 2020 that suggests a $3-trillion stimulus package for transitioning globally towards clean energy over a course of three years. The plan focusses on stimulus measures for six sectors that the EIA identifies as fundamental...Read more »
Sustainable investing will play an important role in financing COVID-19 recovery measures alongside other pressing social and environmental objectives. Therefore, it is great to see that sustainable investing passed its first real test of how much investors really care about sustainability. The FT reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has not seemed to impact investor’s commitment...Read more »
In a sustainable recovery, social protection measures must reflect the current role of women in the care economy. UN Women also pleads for ensuring women have a seat at the table in the design of economic recovery packages, as there is plenty of evidence that more inclusive responses to crises are also better and more...Read more »
The Climate Action Network published a policy manual on June 03, 2020 for governments on how to attach carbon emission targets to bailouts provided to the aviation industry. The manual lists further policy recommendations for aligning this industry with the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieving net-zero aviation emissions by 2050. Policies should address...Read more »
In May 2020, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Secretariat published a new report that analyzes the inequalities that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrates how already disadvantaged groups have been disproportionately affected. The report illustrates why it is so important for a sustainable recovery to ensure access to opportunities on the...Read more »
On June 5, 2020, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published a brief on how economic recovery measures can be designed to build back better. Governments must put well-being and inclusiveness at the centre of their approach to a resilient recovery, while at the same time staying on track to achieve the goals of...Read more »
While many calls to action for green or sustainable recovery have been made, The Guardian reported on June 6, 2020, that at least USD 500 billion will be benefiting fossil fuel industries, without green strings attached.
On May 29, 2020, The Guardian reported increasing evidence on the link between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 infections and death rates. To make societies more resilient and avoid a second wave, tackling air pollution must play a central role in the recovery.
On June 4, 2020, on the evening before World Environment Day, the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) explained in this blog why protecting our natural environment is a safer and cheaper option than waiting for the next crisis to hit.
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 »
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 »
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved a USD 23.1 million grant towards strengthening the climate resilience of Mongolian herder communities. The project aims to enhance climate-informed natural resources management and sustainable livestock practices, building on traditional cooperative approaches among herders. It will also introduce innovative technologies for the traceability of sustainably sourced livestock products and...Read more »
On November 10, 2020, members of the High Ambition Coalition underlined commitments for a green recovery, aiming for 60% of recovery spending to be climate-friendly; a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies; and debt relief to give developing states the capacity for a green recovery. The coalition calls for an ambitious recovery from COVID-19 that sets...Read more »
On November 5, 2020, an England-wide nature restoration initiative was launched. It aims to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change, and to help people reconnect with the natural world. Led by Natural England, the Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Delivery Partnership brings together representatives from over 600 organizations, such as RSPB, Wildlife and Countryside Link, and...Read more »
New research commissioned by the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force illustrates the benefits of green and just recovery for employment, emissions, and health across the world’s 100 leading cities. The new technical report, published in October 2020, compares how urban greenhouse gas emissions, health, and jobs could develop under a green recovery compared...Read more »
The Reuters Foundation reported on October 21, 2020, that New Zealand’s recently re-elected Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, is being urged to pursue green economic recovery plans. Arden’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic is being seen as an indication of good crisis management skills. As her demonstrated commitment to facing environmental concerns was the main...Read more »
The German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) published a paper analyzing 130 studies on green recovery programs. It finds a broad consensus on the need to use COVID-19 recovery packages to address the climate and biodiversity crises. The authors of the paper also discover a consensus on the huge benefits of green recovery programs, the eligibility criteria...Read more »
A new McKinsey report highlights the business case for stepping up global investments in natural capital. The authors illustrate the critical need for expanding nature conservation, analyzing global risks to natural capital, and the crucial value of nature for human activities. To reduce the loss of natural capital around the world, scientists and policy-makers demand...Read more »
The Task Force for a Resilient Recovery has released its final report, recommending CAD 55.4 billion in green recovery investments to support long-term jobs and economic growth in Canada. The Task Force encourages Canada’s leaders to learn from the missed opportunities after the 2008/09 financial crisis when countries invested in recovery measures that resulted in a historic...Read more »
The British government has launched its GBP 40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, supporting up to 5,000 jobs in areas such as tree planting and nature conservation. Environmental groups can now apply for grants worth GBP 50,000 to GBP 5 million. The fund is aimed at labour-intensive projects that deliver nature-based solutions to climate change...Read more »
The Smart Prosperity Institute has published an article outlining opportunities for a green and inclusive COVID-19 recovery in Canada. The authors underline that some groups within society, especially women, younger workers, persons of colour, and persons with disabilities, have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession. The article, therefore, calls on the government to carefully...Read more »
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...Read more »
Colombia’s president Ivan Duque sees his country on track to economic recovery. Participating in a virtual conference on August 20, 2020, he discussed the key role of the government’s stimulus and recovery plan, called Compromiso por el Futuro de Colombia. It includes investments over COP 100 billion (about EUR 22 million) and the creation of 1...Read more »
Bloomberg Green reported on August 24, 2020, that Bangladesh is expecting the World Bank to approve USD 2 billion in loans to support its ambitious climate adaptation plan, with the first installment planned for the beginning of next year. The funds would be used to implement the Delta Plan 100, which aims to minimize damages...Read more »
On August 25, 2020, U.S. Senate Democrats published a comprehensive plan calling for the government to step up climate action and stimulate the creation of green jobs. The new report demands public spending of more than USD 400 billion a year to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The spending would equal about 2% of the...Read more »
On August 14, 2020, Reuters reported on Nairobi’s increased efforts to expand green infrastructure. The article highlights how such investments address challenges posed by the pandemic and the climate crisis. The Kenyan capital is improving the protection and quality of green spaces, especially along the Nairobi River, while supporting people in need. In March, the...Read more »
On August 5, 2020, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced it was directing EUR 300 million toward the COVID-19 response and recovery in African nations. The funding is part of the EIB Team Europe Initiative, designed to help the most vulnerable and exposed countries respond to the immediate health crisis, mitigate social and economic impacts,...Read more »
On August 3, 2020, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced the financing of nearly 40 projects in Barcelona that serve multiple objectives for the city. On the one hand, the projects contribute to the climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts of the city; on the other hand, they create jobs and enhance social inclusion. Therefore,...Read more »
On July 2020, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that Ghana is undertaking a National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process, in which it seeks to improve its resilience to climate change and its impacts over the next 60 years. Its NAP process has been supported by the NAP Global Network since 2018. By developing anticipated climate...Read more »
The Government of New Zealand earmarked a NZ$ 3 billion portion from the country´s COVID Response and Recovery Fund to invest in infrastructure plans. The Cabinet announced on June 30th 2020, how the Infrastructure Fund will be allocated across regions and sectors with the target to create more than 20,000 jobs and unlock additional investments....Read more »
On June 2, 2020, Pakistan Today reported on the World Bank’s USD 188 million in funding for the Government of Pakistan for disaster risk reduction and the restoration of the natural environment. This will strengthen Pakistan’s green economic stimulus recovery package.
The Inter-American Development Bank supports Guatemala under its REDD+ framework to scale its good practices on sustainable forest management and agriculture. The management of the cardamom value chain in Guatemala is an example of how to make agriculture more resilient in a post-COVID-19 recovery. It is also exemplary in its positive social impact, especially by...Read more »