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Green COVID-19 recovery packages key to repair global economy

Published May 11, 2020

Green COVID-19 recovery packages key to repair global economy

COVID-19 recovery packages will do a better job repairing the global economy if they are green, a study from Oxford University found. 

Recovery projects which cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulating economic growth deliver higher returns on government spending than conventional stimulus spending, according to the Guardian. 

The analysis shows that green projects create more jobs, deliver higher short-term returns per pound spent, and lead to increased long-term cost savings. 

Green stimulus projects came out better than the kind of measures taken after the 2008 global financial crisis. 

The study’s lead author, Cameron Hepburn, director of the Smith School of enterprise and the environment at Oxford University said many of the projects could and should be started quickly.  

Suggested programmes include: 

  • insulating the UK’s housing stock 
  • building electric vehicle charging networks  
  • redesigning roads for more cycling 
  • flood protection and planting trees

Clean energy infrastructure construction could generate twice as many jobs per pound of government expenditure as fossil fuel projects. Others include expanding broadband so more people can work from home. 

The paper was co-authored by the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, and Lord Nicholas Stern. It examines more than 700 stimulus policies and makes comparisons with the global financial crisis of 2008. More than 230 experts, including senior officials from finance ministries and central banks in 53 countries, responded to a survey on the potential for climate benefits and fiscal recovery measures.