Story at a glance

  • Governments worldwide have allocated $380 billion for clean energy out of $16 trillion in pandemic support.
  • The IEA said the figure represented about a third of what it estimates is needed in order to put the world on course to hit the goals of the Paris Climate agreement.
  • “Under governments’ current recovery spending plans, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are set to climb to record levels in 2023 and continue rising in the following years. This would leave the world far from the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050,” the IEA said.

Global carbon dioxide emissions are forecast to hit record levels in 2023, and just a small percentage of governments’ recovery spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been allocated to clean energy measures, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). 

The analysis from the IEA published Tuesday says world governments have set aside about $380 billion for clean energy measures as part of their economic response to the pandemic, making up about 2 percent of total fiscal support in response to COVID-19. 

The IEA said the figure represented about a third of what it estimates is needed in order to put the world on course to hit the goals of the Paris Agreement. The IEA has recommended at least $1 trillion of spending worldwide on sustainable energy. 

Governments have allocated about $16 trillion over the course of the pandemic, mostly focused on emergency financial relief for residents and businesses. 


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“The sums of money, both public and private, being mobilised [sic] worldwide by recovery plans fall well short of what is needed to reach international climate goals. These shortfalls are particularly pronounced in emerging and developing economies, many of which face particular financing challenges,” the IEA said in a statement

“Under governments’ current recovery spending plans, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are set to climb to record levels in 2023 and continue rising in the following years. This would leave the world far from the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050,” the IEA said. 

Earlier this year, the intergovernmental organization estimated that global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by 5 percent this year, the second largest such jump in recorded history, as economies recover. The increase is largely due to resurgence in coal demand in Asia. 


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Published on Jul 20, 2021