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Greening the Economic and Social Recovery from Covid-19 
Jim Watson (UCL)
Simon Bawakyillenuo (University of Ghana)
Mulima Nyambe-Mubanga (Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR))
Climate & ecosystems
Thursday 7 July, 11:50-12:30 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

This panel will focus on the scope for a 'greener' economic and social recovery from Covid-19 in low and middle income countries. It will discuss evidence from a range of countries, and explore the extent to which climate action can be integrated into national plans and priorities.

Long Abstract

Covid-19 has had severe economic and social impacts on most countries. It has also sparked wide ranging debates in many countries about how to recover, including the potential for 'building back better'. The prospect of a 'green' recovery from Covid-19 is just as important to low and middle income countries as it is to richer countries like the UK and the USA. This panel will focus on these debates in low and middle income countries, and discuss the extent to which calls for a greener recovery have translated into national plans and priorities.

Many national strategies published by low and middle income countries have already emphasised the need for resilient and sustainable economies. Some of these priorities have been reflected in updated plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change, which have been submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change before COP26 in Glasgow. These plans include, for example, targets or policies to increase the role of renewable energy, cleaner forms of transport and more sustainable agricultural practices.

The panel will feature research contributions from several different countries that shed light on national debates about greening the recovery, and how they have influenced national strategies. This will include new evidence from Ghana and Zambia from a collaborative research project led by the convenors, and funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Global Challenges Research Fund. It will also include invited contributions from researchers in other countries and proposals submitted in response to the conference call for papers.


In line with the DSA guidance, each contributor will record a short presentation video with slides in advance of the session. Presenters will be asked to include a summary of research results, key recommendations for national policy makers and some more general lessons that could be applicable to other countries. Contributors will also be asked to highlight a question or issue that they would like the session to focus on. Following the two-minute summaries by each contributor, the chair will focus the discussion on the issues and questions that have been raised. Each contributor will be asked to invite one or more policy makers from their country to attend the session, and to comment on the research results and recommendations. The aim of the discussion will be to draw out national similarities and differences, and identify the conditions for more (or less) successful 'green recovery' strategies. Following the conference, the outcomes of the discussion will be summarised in a briefing for policy makers.

Accepted papers: