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14 to 15 September 2021 | By invitation only

ESCAP-GFPN regional workshop

In theory, the pandemic created an opportunity for policymakers to recalibrate existing policies and develop new, innovative strategies to mobilise revenue and drive a green, inclusive, low-carbon recovery. In practice, this opportunity has largely been missed. Continuing to pursue an unsustainable recovery will put the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement climate targets out of reach.


Green fiscal policies (GFPs) have enormous potential to foster a sustainable low-carbon recovery in the Asia-Pacific region, as they can mobilise domestic revenue while furthering environmental and climate goals. Many GFPs, particularly carbon-energy taxes, can be implemented rapidly, because collection mechanisms and administrative structures are already in place. GFPs deliver not only positive environmental and climate outcomes, but also social, fiscal, and economic co-benefits, including employment, greater fiscal efficiency, revenue, investment incentives, and innovation. So far, however, although GFPs are recognised as supporting synergies in policymaking in Asia-Pacific, few GFPs can be identified in the region’s recovery packages.


A key lesson from implementing GFPs in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis is that short-term fiscal stimulus alone is not sufficient to drive a sustainable and sustained economic recovery: there is also a need for complementary pricing reforms, such as reform of fossil fuel price regulations. Pricing carbon, resources and pollution is an important precondition for the public and private investment in low-carbon infrastructure and green technology required to drive a sustainable recovery.


In the light of this, this workshop will explore the potential role of GFPs in greening the COVID-19 recovery with the aim of supporting public health efforts, reducing environmental and climate change risks, and strengthening resilience to future crises by embedding inclusive and sustainable socio-economic considerations in national economic planning.


This is one of a series of workshops implemented by the Green Fiscal Policy Network (GFPN) with regional partners to raise awareness and promote policy dialogue on the potential of GFP to support countries in their efforts to foster a green recovery, achieve the SDGs, and meet their NDC targets. ESCAP promotes regional cooperation for inclusive and sustainable development, including in the areas of macroeconomic policy and financing and environment and supports countries to “build forward better”, including through GFPs.


BLOG: Green recovery policies are still possible

14 Sep 2021
Welcome and introduction


  • Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN ESCAP


  • Steven Stone, Chief of Resource and Markets Branch, UNEP
SESSION ONE: The role of green fiscal policies in the recovery: Findings from the Global Recovery Observatory and the UNESCAP 2021 Socio-Economic Survey

Speakers     [Session 1 Video] 

  • Brian O’Callaghan, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, The Role of Green Fiscal Policies in the COVID-19 Recovery
  • Jiyoung Choi, Director of Green Climate Policy Division, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Republic of Korea, South Korea’s Green New Deal


Moderator: Hamza Ali Malik, Director, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development, UN ESCAP

SESSION TWO: Sustainable public financing for a green recovery to achieve the SDGs and the PARIS Agreement: Green bonds and green budgeting

Speakers     [Session 2 Video]


Moderator: Delphine Anne Moretti, Regional Advisor for Southeast Asia, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF)

15 Sep 2021
SESSION THREE: Round table discussion on fiscal policy as an enabler for scaling up private investment in support of a green recovery

Speakers     [Session 3 Video]

Moderator: Tiza Mafira, Associate Director, CPI Global

SESSION FOUR: The potential for fossil fuel subsidy reform and carbon pricing to contribute to building forward better

Speakers     [Session 4 Video]


Moderator: Katinka Weinberger, Chief, Environment and Development Policy Section, UN ESCAP

SESSION FIVE: The political economy of green fiscal policies in the context of green recovery

Speakers     [Session 5 Video]


Moderator: Sweta Saxena, Chief, Macroeconomic Policy and Analysis Section, UN ESCAP

Closing remarks


  • Sandra Spies, Head of Section Environmental Policy, Biodiversity and Forests, GIZ
  • Hamza Ali Malik, Director, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development, UN ESCAP

for more information, please contact

Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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