To provide decision-makers with more information on how stimulus packages may affect cities, this report compares how urban greenhouse gas emissions, health and jobs could fare under a green and just recovery compared to a return to a pre-COVID business-as-usual scenario, or a scenario where the world opts to spend stimulus funding on a high-carbon recovery.
The research finds that:
- Stimulus funding that supports a green and just recovery offers a means to keep global heating below 1.5°C, and could reduce air pollution by as much as 29% between 2020-2030 compared to a return to business-as-usual. In contrast, investing an equivalent amount of stimulus funding in a high-carbon recovery would undoubtedly accelerate global heating.
- Across the nearly 100 cities in the C40 network and their supply chains, a green and just recovery could also create over 50 million good, sustainable jobs by 2025 - over a third more than would be created by investing equivalent funds into a high-carbon recovery.
This research also shows that the timing of a green and just recovery matters, and presents a clear case for early investment. Modelling of the impacts of an ‘accelerated green recovery’ where faster capital investment enables accelerated climate action over the next five years, compared to a 'slow green recovery’ where action happens at a slower pace over 15 years, shows that:
- An ‘accelerated green recovery’ could lead to half the per capita greenhouse gas emissions of a ‘slow green recovery' by 2030, meaning that an 'accelerated green recovery' provides C40 cities with a greater chance of meeting their climate commitments and limiting global heating to 1.5°C.
- An ‘accelerated green recovery’ could avert almost twice as many premature deaths (1.8 times as many) due to air pollution between 2020 and 2030, compared to a 'slow green recovery'.
- Capital investments that are made early on under an ‘accelerated green recovery’ could create over 80 million good, sustainable jobs by 2023, across the nearly 100 cities in the C40 network and their supply chains - more than double a ‘slow green recovery’. At a time of mass unemployment and economic hardship in many parts of the world, generating jobs now will benefit millions of families.