Governments Must Green their Covid-19 Recovery

Call by the Wuppertal Institute and 30 other research institutions to heads of state and government worldwide to use Covid-19 funding for nature and climate-friendly investments

  • News 29.10.2021

As governments spent billions for investments and stimulus packages during the Covid-19 pandemic, various research institutes formed initiatives to examine these funds in terms of their climate and nature compatibility. One of these initiatives is led by the Wuppertal Institute together with E3G: The Green Recovery Tracker assesses the contribution of EU member states’ national recovery plans to the green transition. In total, the various Tracker initiatives around the world have analyzed data on thousands of measures and stimulus programs initiated in response to Covid-19 for a wide range of environmental impacts. Governments have allocated between 16 and 17.2  US dollar trillion of stimulus in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, representing the largest-ever peacetime mobilisation of public money. The data has shown a progressive but slow shift towards greener policies since March 2020 as response evolved from emergency rescue measures to strategic recovery packages. Canada, the EU, the US, and India are among the countries that made the greatest strides. According to estimates of the Tracker initiatives, green recovery spending now represents 10 up to 20 per cent of recovery spending globally.

However, this is not yet enough to drive the urgent shift toward low-carbon economies to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius target. To shift course, it is therefore critical that governments increase public spending on clean energy, low carbon transport, sustainable agriculture, waste management and enhanced nature and biodiversity protection. Therefore, the Wuppertal Institute and 30 other institutes call for heads of state and government worldwide to use Covid-19 recovery funding significantly more for nature- and climate-friendly investments. They can do so by setting clear spending targets for a green recovery. For example, the Green Recovery Tracker's analyses showed that the EU's target led to a significant increase in climate protection in the recovery plans – 37 per cent of EU recovery funds in each member state's recovery plan must be invested green. Such tools and minimum eligibility requirements could become central to guide future investment decisions and strengthen climate action.

The call is available under the link below.


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