Modelling an inclusive green economy COVID-19 recovery programme for South Africa

The United Nations Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) and Cambridge Econometrics have released final results from a joint modelling project which explores the global outlook for economic recovery and specifically examines the South African context. This collaborative project included South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria, International Labour Organization and UNEP-WCMC. 

This report on South Africa has been prepared as a case study within the wider project Inclusive Green Economy response scenario modelling of COVID-19 recovery plans, undertaken by Cambridge Econometrics for ILO and UNEP. The project’s aim was to undertake a quantified analysis of the impact of alternative (non-green and green) COVID-19 recovery plans on key economic, social and environmental indicators globally and in selected PAGE countries. This report presents the analysis carried out for South Africa.

Key findings:

  • There is an opportunity for policy makers to steer investment decisions to ‘build back better’ and that green recovery policies can help GDP and jobs while also curbing carbon emissions.
  • Green recovery can outperform consumption boosting recovery approaches on a global scale
  • Locally in South Africa we find that it can complement existing recovery efforts amplifying economic / labour outcomes, while contributing to CO2 emission reductions.
  • To decouple economic growth from environmental degradation more attention should be given to the protection of natural capital assets (such as water, species and soils)
  • Thought needs to go into social protection for individuals and communities whose jobs do not have a long-term sustainable future – in the case of South Africa, those involved in coal mining for example.

Click here for the policy brief of the report.

Stijn Van Hummelen Managing Director (Belgium) [email protected]