Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Ensuring a green recovery

19 June 2020

 

As the pandemic wreaks havoc in communities around the world, the recent webinar organised by Devex, looks at the specific impact on climate action, and the issues we should be considering in the post-COVID recovery period.  

 

The global economic slowdown that has accompanied the lockdown in our communities has resulted in improved air quality and reduced emissions in many parts of the world. But how can we make sure these climate improvements are not just temporary, but part of a broader transition to greener living?

 

Rebuilding the economic and supporting green growth

As the world tackles the massive challenges presented by coronavirus, it is vital to ensure that all efforts to rebuild economies support a transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy, while keeping job retention and creation front and center. Organised by Devex and the CDC Group, a panel of experts considered how rebuilding efforts might support green growth and employment, while also building resilience to future crises, including those caused by climate change. 

 

Investment within a new policy frameword

There is definitely a need for active investment - but a new and correct policy framework is vital, and one which includes different carbon pricing. With public balance sheets so stretched in developing/emerging economies, the challenges of debt and finance must be addressed, with the engagement of the private sector. Another suggestion was to increase swap opportunities of debt for carbon credits. And international role players like CDC need to actively engage in promoting understanding that green investments are job intensive and more resilient.

 

Geographic differences

The webinar also looked at the geographic differences: the Europe Green Deal is a world leader with digitalisation and transition to the green economy with time-frames and perhaps the place to look for best practice. While in the USA, there is little political will to rule out fossil fuel support. And developing economies urgently need green resilient investments, but also support on framing finance and policies

opportunities.

 

As National Defined Contributions (NDCs) for climate action are to be renewed for another five years (aligned with COP 26), there is an opportunity to link NDCs with economic recovery and transformation. Climate investments, however, cannot only be considered nationally. They need to produce local jobs and local growth. Policy, regulatory and incentivised models must be forged to stimulate economic growth and climate action.

 

Political will is paramount

The COVID pandemic will undoubtely increase climate action and, ultimately, when rebuilding economies the most important issue is building more sustainable business models and political will is paramount in forging a green recovery, even more so than funding. These issues are certainly factors for serious considerations at all levels, but particularly locally, and will become ever more important for CLGF and its work on sustainable cities.

 

Devex is a social enterprise and media platform for the global development community and aims to connect and inform development, health, humanitarian, and sustainability professionals through news, business intelligence, and funding & career opportunities in international development. Find out more by going to the website

 

 

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