In 2020, the world was plunged into an economic crisis. Measures that have been necessary to deal with the coronavirus pandemic have shuttered businesses and put people out of work. Governments in many countries are responding with direct payments to individuals and other measures to alleviate suffering. They are also engaging in broader economic stimulus. There have been calls to ensure that stimulus measures align with government commitments to combat climate change and are, in other respects, ‘green’. There have also been calls for a ‘just’ recovery – i.e. a recovery that addresses inequality alongside decarbonization of the economy. As such, it is possible that the response to the COVID-19 crisis could kickstart a longer term plan for a Green New Deal. Whether this happens in practice remains to be seen.
A number of organizations are doing valuable work tracking the COVID-19 stimulus spending around the world.
Created through a partnership of think tanks, NGOs, and academic institutions around the world, this tracker “showcases publicly-available information on public money commitments for different energy types, and other policies supporting energy production and consumption. The research follows a bottom-up approach, which involves collecting data on individual policies at an individual country level, and then aggregating them.” The tracker is frequently updated.
This index is produced as part of the Finance for Biodiversity Initiative (F4B). It was created by Vivid Economics – an economics consultancy firm. The tracker is periodically updated.
“Building on the 11th Petersberg Climate Dialogue and the UNFCCC’s June Momentum for Climate Change, the Online Platform for Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19 (“Platform for Redesign 2020”) showcases policies and actions taken by national governments toward a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19. It also features inspiring messages from governments and non-state stakeholders, who remain committed to transformative change toward a sustainable future.”
Rhodium Group (a private research consultancy) is tracking green stimulus spending across the world’s largest emitters—the United States, the European Union and its member states, China, and India, which together make up two-thirds of global GDP and over 50% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This database from Climate Interactive (a not-for-profit think tank) “aims to collect as many examples as possible where city, state, and national leaders are making COVID-19 recovery plans in ways that could also produce benefits in racial, gender, and economic equity and in climate change mitigation and resilience.”
Carbon Brief (a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy) “is tracking the measures proposed, agreed and implemented by major economies around the world. The tracker will be updated over time and will include stimulus measures that have a direct bearing on climate change or energy.”
The IISD (a not-for-profit think tank) has compiled a helpful list of additional trackers.
Green/Just Recovery Statements and Proposals
(For proposals specific to Canada, Europe, Korea, the UK and the US, please refer to the Interactive Map.)