Delivering a Green New Deal post COVID-19 – Opportunities and priorities for a Glasgow City Region response

Introduction

Download the full paper here.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a major crisis. The short-term response in the UK, Scotland and the Glasgow City Region (GCR) has rightly focused on the public health emergency, but with accompanying rescue and support measures to protect incomes, businesses and the economy.

Despite this response, a major recession is still likely. To address this, there is discussion of possible stimulus packages, as well as wider reforms, to tackle the anticipated economic and financial impacts. There have been a large number of papers and commentaries that have called for these packages to be targeted to ensuring the recovery is ‘green’ or delivers a ‘green new deal’.

To support Climate Ready Clyde’s Board and the wider Glasgow City Region’s work on COVID-19 economic recovery, Paul Watkiss Associates and Sniffer have investigated the potential for promoting low carbon development and climate change adaptation (resilience) as part of possible COVID-19 recovery plans, including what could be implemented locally in Glasgow City Region.

Key recommendations

The paper has reviewed the recent green recovery literature, and considered the role that such interventions could play post-COVID-19. and identifies a series of steps that could help Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Regional Economic Partnership implement a green recovery package. These steps include:

  • An analysis of plans (direct interventions, but also policy and reform),
  • The development of a green project pipeline, looking for additional sources of finance (including the private sector),
  • Designing innovative financing structures that target blended finance,
  • Strengthening institutions including mainstreaming climate, and creating strong and positive messaging (and raise awareness) on the benefits of the green recovery.

The paper also includes an illustrative portfolio of measures to demonstrate the various co-benefits and trade-offs of a ‘green recovery’, and what could be considered to maximise contributions for economy and climate.

Table 1: Rating of illustrative ‘green’ recovery interventions for Glasgow City Region