COVID-19 pandemic and climate change
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that has spread across the world during 2020 is having major ramifications for climate change and environmental policies. The Institute has been responding through research, analysis and commentary on the implications for decision-making in the public private and third sectors, particularly in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation. A key area of investigation is how economic recovery packages from the pandemic can promote strong and sustainable growth and development through zero-carbon and climate-resilient investments. This page provides details of policy analysis and research being carried out by the Institute in relation to COVID-19.
View videos and download presentations from the Royal Economic Society webinar series: A strong and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.
The three seminars are chaired by Nicholas Stern and feature presentations by Nick Robins and Dimitri Zenghelis.
Commentaries and publications
A new paper draws lessons from COVID-19 for the fight against climate change, arguing that people are willing to change their behaviour as long as there is a clear social mandate. Candice Howarth summarises the analysis. Read more
This commentary draws lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for climate change. Read more
This briefing paper sets out the key areas where strong economic policies and institutions will be needed to foster investment for the post-COVID-19 recovery, building on discussions in the Royal Economic Society's webinar series chaired by Professor Lord Stern. Read more
This briefing is designed to provide central banks and financial supervisors with an initial toolbox of options to align their COVID-19 crisis response measures with climate and sustainability objectives and mitigate potential sustainability risks. Read more
To tackle the challenges of climate change, more investment needs to be mobilised in low-carbon technologies and capital assets. This report examines the implications for firms as they diversify into the green marketplace. Read more
The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the need to invest much more in pre-disaster risk reduction and preparedness for a range of risks, including climate change and its accompanying hazards such as flooding. But what, asks Swenja Surminski, does this kind of investment need to consider in practice – and why is ‘resilience’ not already widely taken into account when making policy and investment decisions? Read more
Swenja Surminski discusses the impact of climate change on the UK housing sector. In this interview with Future Housing she outlines three major risk categories facing the sector: physical, transition and litigation and liability risk. She also discusses the importance of ensuring that post-COVID-19 recovery measures take account of climate targets. Read more
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, a trio of sustainable finance innovations could enable emerging economies to overcome sovereign debt problems and support their delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, write Alexandra Pinzon, Nick Robins and Mike Hugman Read more
There’s an opportunity to build a new social contract, tackle inequality, foster innovation and adopt a long-term industrial strategy, write Sam Unsworth and Anna Valero, discussing some of the issues raised from a recent webinar hosted by the Royal Economic Society on policies for a strong and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. Read more
This brief argues that once the immediate rescue has been secured and countries move towards recovery from COVID-19, carefully implementing carbon pricing while reducing fossil fuel subsidies should be at the core of any stimulus package. Read more
This working paper published by Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment outlines how the transition to net zero emissions could significantly contribute to the UK’s recovery from COVID-19. Read more
This paper (forthcoming in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy) assesses the economic and climate impact of taking a green route out of the COVID-19 crisis. The analysis is based on a survey 231 central bank officials, finance ministry officials, and other economic experts from G20 countries on the relative performance of 25 major fiscal recovery archetypes across four dimensions: speed of implementation, economic multiplier, climate impact potential, and overall desirability. Read more
Nicholas Stern comments on the recovery from COVID-19, which, he says, must be designed to be sustainable if it is to take us to the drive to the transformational growth that can give us a much better path of development and growth and avoid the dangers of the old system. Read more
This briefing identifies key recovery policies that the UK government could introduce to both respond to the crisis of COVID-19, and support the country in meeting its commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Read more
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the fragility and dangers of the old growth path. There can be no going back to the old normal, argue Amar Bhattacharya and Nicholas Stern. Read more
Transcript of the keynote speech delivered by Nick Robins on 20 April 2020 as part of Earth Day Week, in which he suggests five priorities for how we should reset sustainable finance in the decade to 2030. Read more
The impact of COVID-19 on the price of carbon illustrates just how important it is to build flexibility into cap-and-trade systems and this is something policymakers should remember for the design of the UK’s post-Brexit emissions trading system, argue Josh Burke and Luca Taschini. Read more