Ctrl-Alt-Delete: A Green Reboot for Emerging Markets

The economic fallout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the worst global recession in nearly a century. In response, governments around the world have carried out unprecedented fiscal interventions to provide emergency assistance to citizens and to try to stabilize their economies. The damage caused by the pandemic serves as a warning, as it highlights the potential economic and social impact of the mounting climate change crisis.

Like COVID-19, climate change is likely to cause dramatic disruption to demand, supply and financial markets. In addition, the pandemic has exposed stark inequalities among countries and within communities, including access to health care. As countries shift from short-term pandemic relief measures towards long-term economic recovery, governments face important decisions about the type of economies they want to rebuild and how to allocate limited resources effectively.

This IFC paper suggests one approach to that rebuilding effort: prioritizing decarbonization and low-carbon pathways across emerging markets. This option offers an effective way to forge more sustainable, resilient, and equitable economies.