What is the IEA’s New Sustainable Recovery Plan?
By admin June 19, 2020

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Photovoltaic Panels At Lotus-covered Lake In Chuzhou : News Photo
Gaoyou Lake on September 2, 2019 in Chuzhou, Anhui Province of China.
(Photo by Song Weixing/VCG via Getty Images)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented a Sustainable Recovery Plan (2021-2023) focusing on a series of “once in a lifetime” actions that can be “taken over the next three years to revitalize economies and boost employment while making energy systems cleaner and more resilient”. The Plan is positioned to achieve a range of significant outcomes, notably:

  • Boost global economic growth by an average of 1.1 percentage points a year
  • Save or create roughly 9 million jobs a year
  • Reduce annual global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 4.5 billion tonnes by the end of the plan


“In addition, the plan would deliver other improvements to human health and well-being, including driving a 5% reduction in air pollution emissions, bringing access to clean-cooking solutions to around 420 million people in low-income countries, and enabling nearly 270 million people to gain access to electricity.”

“Achieving these results would require global investment of about USD 1 trillion annually over the next three years. This sum represents about 0.7% of today’s global GDP and includes both public spending and private finance that would be mobilised by government policies.”

An analysis conducted by the IEA with the IMF suggests the agency’s plan would, ultimately, lead to global GDP being 3.5% higher in 2023 than it would have been without any stimulus, as the chart below shows.

Estimated increase in real GDP resulting from the IEA’s “sustainable recovery plan”, showing the increase in GDP relative to a baseline in which there is no increase in investment. Source: IEA.

“Governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot their economies and bring a wave of new employment opportunities while accelerating the shift to a more resilient and cleaner energy future,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “Policy makers are having to make hugely consequential decisions in a very short space of time as they draw up stimulus packages. Our Sustainable Recovery Plan provides them with rigorous analysis and clear advice on how to tackle today’s major economic, energy and climate challenges at the same time. The plan is not intended to tell governments what they must do. It seeks to show them what they can do.”

“Based on detailed assessments of more than 30 specific energy policy measures, the Sustainable Recovery Plan considers cost-effective approaches, the circumstances of individual countries, existing pipelines of energy projects, and current market conditions. It spans six key sectors – electricity, transport, industry, buildings, fuels and emerging low-carbon technologies.”

“The IEA’s new energy employment database shows that in 2019, the energy industry – including electricity, oil, gas, coal and biofuels – directly employed around 40 million people globally. The special report estimates that 3 million of those jobs have been lost or are at risk due to the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, with another 3 million jobs lost or at risk in related areas such as vehicles, buildings and industry.”

Retrofitting and constructing more efficient buildings scores highly, with the IEA singling the sector out as having the greatest potential for job creation. This can be seen in the chart below, along with other high-performing sectors such as recycling and solar photovoltaics (PV).

Construction and manufacturing jobs created per million dollars of capital investment and spending. The top chart highlights renewable electricity projects (blue) and the transport, construction and industry sectors (brown), while the bottom chart focuses on other parts of the energy sector, divided into advanced economies (top) and the rest of the world (bottom). Source: IEA.

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Thanks for sharing !

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