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This new road map tells governments how to recover sustainably

The International Energy Agency, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, today released the Sustainable Recovery Plan. The report “outlines energy-focused policies and investments to move the world toward a cleaner and more resilient future.”

Energy-focused recovery plan

The recovery plan lays out a series of actions that governments can take over the next three years to help economies recover and boost employment in a sustainable manner.

The report says policy actions and targeted investments can increase global economic growth by an average of 1.1 percentage points a year; save or create roughly 9 million jobs a year; and reduce annual global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 4.5 billion tonnes by the end of the plan.

It also includes, among other things, a plan for 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.

It would require $1 trillion annually over the next three years, which represents about 0.7% of today’s global GDP and includes both public spending and private finance that would be mobilized by government policies.

Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, says:

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.

As for an opinion from the private sector on this plan, Saara Kujala, general manager, business development for Finnish energy company Wärtsilä, said:

The cost-optimal route to building a high renewable power system is to deploy a wide technology mix, including different types of flexible generation.

We are hopeful that the IEA’s historic report provides a clear line of sight to the opportunities and risks at hand, so that smart policy action and stimulus are geared to enabling a systemic approach to rebuilding toward a 100% renewable, flexible energy mix.

Electrek’s Take

Hello from the IEA and the IMF. Here’s the instruction book on what to do. You’re welcome, governments. Oh, and by the way, the private sector wants this, too.

Governments are under pressure to think on their feet and perform extraordinarily, and this new plan, in Birol’s words, “is not intended to tell governments what they must do. It seeks to show them what they can do.”

This is quite an achievement for the IEA and the IMF to produce in such a short period of time, and world governments would be neglectful to not take this guidance seriously. You can read the whole report here.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.