Slouching or Speeding Toward Net Zero? Evidence from COVID-19 Stimulus Policies in the G20

29 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2022

See all articles by Kevin Andrew

Kevin Andrew

University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business

Basma Majerbi

Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Ekaterina Rhodes

University of Victoria, School of Public Administration

Date Written: March 25, 2022

Abstract

This paper analyzes the size and nature of green fiscal stimulus policies in the G20 countries in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We exploit a new dataset, the Energy Policy Tracker (EPT), with detailed information on countries’ policies since the start of the pandemic. Between January 2020 and December 2021, G20 countries enacted 913 stimulus measures that have direct impacts on energy supply and demand. The average country spent $ 396 USD per person on energy-related policies. Only 30% of this amount, on average, is devoted to low-carbon measures, mostly in the transit and buildings sectors, with considerable variation across countries. To properly compare countries’ efforts in aligning their COVID-19 stimulus with climate goals, we construct a new index, the Green Energy Policy Index (GEPI), using principal components analysis, taking into account both “green” and “brown” stimulus measures. The GEPI varies considerably across countries. We find that on average, countries with a “greener” stimulus are wealthier and have a lower emission intensity. On average, countries that have experienced the crisis more acutely, both in terms of deaths and GDP loss, have “greener” stimulus packages. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research and climate energy policymaking.

Keywords: Green Recovery, COVID-19, Build Back Better, Green Fiscal Stimulus, Energy Policy

JEL Classification: E62, E63, E65, G18, O44, Q48

Suggested Citation

Andrew, Kevin and Majerbi, Basma and Rhodes, Ekaterina, Slouching or Speeding Toward Net Zero? Evidence from COVID-19 Stimulus Policies in the G20 (March 25, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4066803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4066803

Kevin Andrew (Contact Author)

University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business ( email )

Victoria, British Columbia
Canada

Basma Majerbi

Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria ( email )

Victoria, British Columbia
Canada
250-472-4281 (Phone)

Ekaterina Rhodes

University of Victoria, School of Public Administration ( email )

3800 Finnerty Rd
Victoria, British Columbia V8P 5C2
Canada

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