In the recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic, government spending and recovery packages will play a pivotal role in underpinning economies, jobs and people’s livelihoods. These measures, already in the trillions of dollars, need not only to be effective in restarting the economy, but also in creating a sustainable economy of the future. This includes the imperative to reduce emissions and uphold the Paris Agreement. The alternative, spending programs without 1.5°C-aligned policies, is to risk committing economies to an unsustainable path as well as a level of public indebtedness that will constrain future efforts to change course.
As the former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has noted, countries “will not be able to self-isolate from climate change”. The recovery planning from the coronavirus pandemic is a historic opportunity to get back on track with climate goals and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy by 2050.