Climate Action

IEA unveils new Sustainable Recovery Plan to put emissions into structural decline

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented a Sustainable Recovery Plan focusing on a series of actions that can be taken over the next three years to revitalise economies and boost employment.

  • 19 June 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented a Sustainable Recovery Plan focusing on a series of actions that can be taken over the next three years to revitalise economies and boost employment.

Set out in a Special Report on Sustainable Recovery from the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook series, the plan offers an energy sector roadmap for governments to spur economic growth, create millions of jobs and put global emissions into structural decline.

By integrating energy policies into government responses to the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the plan would also accelerate the deployment of modern, reliable and clean energy technologies and infrastructure.

The report, carried out in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, shows that the set of policy actions and targeted investments over the 2021-2023 period that are outlined in the Sustainable Recovery Plan can achieve a range of significant outcomes.

This includes boosting global economic growth by an average of 1.1 percentage points a year, saving or creating roughly 9 million jobs a year, and reducing annual global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 4.5 billion tonnes by the end of the plan.

In addition, the plan would deliver other improvements to human health and well-being, including driving a 5% reduction in air pollution emissions, bringing access to clean-cooking solutions to around 420 million people in low-income countries, and enabling nearly 270 million people to gain access to electricity.

Achieving these results would require global investment of about USD 1 trillion annually over the next three years. This sum represents about 0.7% of today’s global GDP and includes both public spending and private finance that would be mobilised by government policies.

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director, said: “Governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot their economies and bring a wave of new employment opportunities while accelerating the shift to a more resilient and cleaner energy future.”

“Policy makers are having to make hugely consequential decisions in a very short space of time as they draw up stimulus packages. Our Sustainable Recovery Plan provides them with rigorous analysis and clear advice on how to tackle today’s major economic, energy and climate challenges at the same time. The plan is not intended to tell governments what they must do. It seeks to show them what they can do.”

Read the report in full here.