Recent estimates suggest that potentially environmentally harmful government support amounts to more than USD 680 billion annually around the world, including subsidies to fossil fuel production and consumption, and environmentally harmful agricultural support. This means that after only two years, these subsidies already cancel out the USD 1 090 billion of green spending to be spent over multiple years.
What’s more, the remaining 67% of recovery spending cannot be considered environmentally neutral: 14% is specifically tagged as mixed or negative for the environment, and the final 52%, while not tagged as having direct environmental impacts, is unlikely to be benign for the environment.
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 1 494 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.