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Are We Building Back Better? UNEP-Oxford Report Finds: Not Yet.

According to a report launched by the Global Recovery Observatory only  18.0% of announced recovery spending can be considered “green” while just 2.5 % of total COVID-induced expenses to date had “positive green characteristics”. These findings once more stress the importance of the DRGR idea.

The Observatory is tracking the fiscal rescue and recovery spending of the world’s fifty largest economies, to pin down the level of green spending built into rescue and recovery plans. The study is part of the broader Oxford University Economic Recovery Project, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Monetary Fund, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Regarding itself the most comprehensive analysis of COVID-19-related fiscal rescue and recovery efforts so far, the report reveals that only $368bn of $14.6tn COVID-induced spending (rescue and recovery) in 2020 was green.

However, the report does not only refer to the gap between announced and actual spending on climate-friendly recovery but also points to the global differences: 

“While some Advanced Economies and the European Commission account for most of the green recovery spending, the report warns that ‘for the vast majority of countries, recovery spending has been relatively low and minimally green.’ The economic ravages of the coronavirus are only exacerbating existing disparities—and recovery spending— between nations. The report points out that advanced economies are spending about 17 times more per person than what is being spent in emerging markets and developing economies.”

One of the reports key findings, therefore, reads: 

“EMDEs (Emerging Market and Developing Economies) will require substantial concessional finance from international partners. Without it, debt constraints will restrict recovery and economic health, widening the already stark inequality between nations.”

For detailed findings read the whole report here or the executive summary here

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