Nature-based solutions now assessed in Greenness of Stimulus Index

The Greenness of Stimulus Index (GSI) assesses the effectiveness of the COVID-19 stimulus efforts by G20 countries and other major economies in ensuring an economic recovery that takes advantage of sustainable growth opportunities, and builds resilience through the protection of the climate and biodiversity. This assessment is updated regularly and the fourth edition was released in December 2020.

The GSI is an increasingly powerful tool that provides a method to gauge the current impact of the COVID-19 responses, to track countries’ progress over time, and to identify and recommend measures for improving the effectiveness of those responses.

This edition includes a number of important updates, including now notably a focus on nature-based solutions which have so far been particularly neglected in the stimulus efforts. The report shows that where large green stimulus measures have been introduced, these have largely focused on reducing carbon emissions, with only occasional attention to preserving and enhancing nature and natural capital. Only seven of the 25 economies analysed have invested in so-called nature-based solutions (NBS), such as tree planting, forest protection and regenerative agriculture. This investment has created more than 580,000 jobs, but the analysis shows that represents a tiny share of what would be possible with greater stimulus focus on NBS. NBS investments outperform typical stimulus investment in terms of job creation (7% greater) and economic activity creation (8% greater), while also offering large contributions toward climate and biodiversity goals, but currently remain grossly underutilised in stimulus.

This work was undertaken by Vivid Economics as part of the Finance for Biodiversity (F4B) initiative.

Download the report.

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