The latest budgetary increase to environmentally positive recovery measures - to USD 677 billion, allocated over the coming years - is now almost double the total allocated to measures with negative or mixed environmental impacts as recorded in the OECD Green Recovery Database.
But this increase is dwarfed by continuing government support to fossil-fuel producers and consumers. In 2020 alone, G20 and emerging economies spent over USD 345 billion subsidising fossil-fuel use according to OECD-IEA estimates. This risks undermining efforts to transition towards more sustainable growth paths.
What’s more, the remaining 79% of recovery spending cannot be considered environmentally neutral: 10% is specifically tagged as mixed or negative for the environment, and the final 69%, while not tagged as having direct environmental impacts, is unlikely to be benign for the environment. This also points to a recovery that is oriented towards business-as-usual and far from the green transition needed.
The OECD Green Recovery Database focuses on measures related to COVID-19 economic recovery efforts with clear positive, negative or “mixed” environmental impacts across one or several environmental dimensions.
It contains around 1 380 measures with environmental relevance, spread over 44 countries and the European Union, and covers a range of environmental dimensions beyond just energy and climate, to include pollution (air and plastics), water, biodiversity, and waste management.