The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many fragilities of our economies and deepened existing inequalities and imbalances. However, long before the pandemic hit nations across the world, many economies were marked by harmful and inefficient use of public and private resources, reinforcing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, global warming and vulnerabilities linked to health and social exclusion. In the wake of the health and economic crisis, citizens are increasingly demanding a departure from business-as-usual approaches in favour of truly innovative and green policies. Similarly, many governments recognize that the transformative potential of this circumstance must not be wasted.
Greening recovery efforts can help nations build forward better after the pandemic to increase the well-being of people and resilience of countries to future crises. Green fiscal policies in particular can play a key role in countries’ recovery efforts by removing inefficiencies in public expenditures and raising additional fiscal revenues which can be directed towards immediate COVID-19 relief measures while supporting longer-term investments. While this course was developed prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, its contents therefore remain relevant to current policy discussions.
One practical challenge lies in ensuring that countries are both aware of these opportunities and that they possess the knowledge and skills to take advantage of them. To address this challenge, the course sets out to provide interested participants from government, business, and civil society with an introduction to the green fiscal policy tools and approaches to foster a more sustainable future.