Cameron Hepburn

A net-zero emissions economic recovery from COVID-19

Allan, J., Donovan, C., Ekins, P., Gambhir, A., Hepburn, C., Robins, N., Reay, D., Shuckburgh E., and Zenghelis, D. (2020). A net-zero emissions economic recovery from COVID-19. Smith School Working Paper 20-01.

  1. Economic growth will be a high priority for all countries in the months and years following COVID-19. The transition to net zero emissions can significantly contribute to the recovery.
  2. There are lessons from recovery packages following the 2008 financial crisis, but the COVID-19 crisis has had a different structural impact on demand and supply (Section 2).
  3. In the lead up to COP26, the UK could provide guidance and methodologies to evaluate proposed recovery packages for consistency with Paris and net zero emissions (Section 3).
  4. The UK could lead by example with a recovery package including components on net zero buildings, energy storage, clean industry, transport and greenhouse gas removal (Section 4).
  5. Institutionally, this could be supported by establishing a Climate Change Emergency Committee and a Net Zero Delivery Body to implement a coherent response (Section 5).
  6. Financially, a new National Investment Bank and focus on green financial instruments could significantly scale-up private investment (Section 6).
  7. The UK could help other countries develop net zero recovery packages by instigating a new flexible intergovernmental Sustainable Recovery Alliance (Section 7).