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Climate Policy

Promoting a low-carbon, climate-resilient and equitable Covid-19 recovery

Promoting a low-carbon, climate-resilient and equitable Covid-19 recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused extensive human suffering. The death toll has risen to hundreds of thousands, and a third of the world’s population has faced some form of lockdown, leading to massive economic disruption and loss of livelihood for many. Amidst the devastation, however, the interruption of normality has created an opportunity for change: to “recover better”, including for a lower-carbon, climate-resilient, and more equitable future. Governments and international financial institutions are expected to spend trillions, in aggregate, on economic recovery packages and some of this could be directed towards low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. Fiscal imperatives could prompt cuts to fossil fuel subsidies, and carbon pricing could become more attractive for its revenue-raising properties. The enforced dramatic reduction in air travel and commuting could lead to sustained behavioural change. Lockdowns have also brought tangible local environmental gains – notably cleaner air and water – that citizens may be loath to give up. On the other hand, all countries will emerge from the immediate crisis with high levels of debt. Governments may well pursue economic growth without much regard for long term environmental and social outcomes, possibly entrenching new high-carbon developments for decades to come. Dedicated climate policy could be starved of public funding, and off-budget climate instruments may fall out of favour for fear of holding back economic growth.

Against this background, Climate Policy is calling for high-quality, innovative, insightful contributions that consider how the Covid-19 recovery could promote a low-carbon, climate-resilient and equitable future. Issues that could be addressed include:

  • In what ways do the Covid-19 crisis and climate emergency interact, including in terms of sustainable development goals?
  • How can Covid-19 recovery policy, including fiscal stimuli, be designed to meet both climate change and socio-economic objectives?
  • How can “green” recovery packages ensure protection of the most vulnerable?
  • What role can debt relief for developing countries play?
  • What can be learned from past economic and fiscal stimulus measures?
  • How can low-carbon behavioural shifts (eg less reliance on travel) be “locked-in”?
  • What relevant initiatives are emerging among businesses and civil society?

Editors in Chief

Professor Frank Jotzo
Australia National University
[email protected]

Professor Harald Winkler
University of Cape Town
[email protected]

Submission Information

Submission Deadline: 31st December 2020

Full research papers (7,000 words) and rigorous commentaries (3,000 words) are both welcome, and will be subject to double-blind peer-review. If accepted, papers will be published as soon as possible in a regular issue of the journal and compiled in a separate section of our website. Please consult our instructions for authors before submitting.  We encourage prompt submission to enable timely contribution to ongoing policy debates.  

Submit papers here