‘Only 2% of recovery spend going on clean energy’

Sums of public and private money being mobilised by recovery plans will fail to reach climate goals, says IEA [Image: Fatih Birol]

Globally governments are only allocating 2% of fiscal support for investing in post-Covid economies to clean energy measures, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Governments have mobilised $16tn in fiscal support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, most of it focused on emergency financial relief for households and companies, the IEA’s new Sustainable Recovery Tracker found, while 2% of the total is earmarked for clean energy transitions.

The sums of money, both public and private, being mobilised worldwide by recovery plans fall well short of what is needed to reach international climate goals, said the IEA.
The Sustainable Recovery Tracker highlighted these shortfalls are particularly pronounced in emerging and developing economies, many of which face particular financing challenges.

Under governments’ current recovery spending plans, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are set to climb to record levels in 2023 and continue rising in the following years. This would leave the world far from the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050 that the IEA set out in its recent Global Roadmap to Net Zero.

The Sustainable Recovery Tracker is intended to help policy makers assess how far recovery plans are moving the needle on climate.

The new online tool is a contribution to the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy in Naples, which takes place on 22 and 23 July under the Presidency of Italy.

The tracker monitors government spending allocated to sustainable recoveries and then estimates how much this spending boosts overall clean energy investment and to what degree this affects the trajectory of global CO2 emissions.

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The tracker considers over 800 national sustainable recovery policies in its analysis, which are publicly available on the IEA website.

“Since the Covid-19 crisis erupted, many governments may have talked about the importance of building back better for a cleaner future, but many of them are yet to put their money where their mouth is.

“Despite increased climate ambitions, the amount of economic recovery funds being spent on clean energy is just a small sliver of the total,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director.

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