Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are experiencing a converging crisis of COVID, conflict and climate. Today’s economic status has become an opportunity to “green transition” away from the aggressive fossil-fuel-driven energy system. This paper analyzes the concept of green recovery, a practical solution for economic stimulus as well as climate change response.
This paper provides policy recommendations for the Asia Pacific region and the Seoul Initiative Network on Green Growth (SINGG) to stimulate regional green recovery by: 1) Defining Green Recovery, 2) Reviewing the Green Recovery Packages implemented after the COVID-19 pandemic, and 3) Providing implications for countries in Asia and the Pacific and potential activities for the SINGG IV.
Green Recovery, which in simple terms refers to climate-friendly stimulus policies and measures adopted in response to a severe economic downturn triggered by an unexpected shock, varies by country as timelines and types of each response to such crisis are different. Green growth aims at securing environmental and social integrity as well as pursuing economic growth by harmonizing the economy and environment. However, the concept became especially widespread after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 (GFC), which had devastated the world economy, and since then, there has been a wide range of the previous research that discusses “green”, “recovery” or “stimulus", and “economy” separately and together.
This paper suggests the following definition for Green Recovery Package: A set of policies and measures with the objective of ensuring transformation into a low-carbon economy while surpassing pre-recession growth levels. The paper also recommends strategies to suggest ways forward to ‘green’ existing recovery packages even further, and SINGG’s role to facilitate comprehensive regional green recovery: 1) Invigorating knowledge and experience sharing program, 2) Development of capacity building programs/handbook, 3) Development of a consistent ex-ante and ex-post assessment tool or methodology, 5) Enhancement of SINGG’s capacity to compare and contrast green recovery plans.