Climate Change | Analysis and New Insights

The Playbook for Paradigm Shift: A Green Recovery in the COVID-19 Context

Claire Healy | July 2020


Half a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, decreases in production and employment have precipitated a global economic crisis. To deal with these public health and economic shocks, governments around the world have begun enacting sweeping legislative packages that previously may have seemed unimaginable. Have these measures so far risen to the challenge of building a greener global economy to meet critical sustainability goals?

Claire Healy considers progress on climate action so far during the COVID-19 era as seen through the lens of the Playbook, a tool for climate action during a global financial crisis developed by the Stanley Center for Peace and Security and E3G in late 2019.

As financial interests and fossil fuel industries clamor for a greater share of financial stimulus packages, the public and media have placed increased scrutiny on officials in charge of monetary policy and bailouts. The EU’s approach to integrating green industries into recovery measures has so far differed sharply with the US approach, which itself may change course after the election this November. Debt from bailouts around the world has stressed an already strained international financial system.

Healy ultimately calls for a paradigm shift of the social contract between government and people and a new cooperative framework between geopolitical institutions responsible for building back better.

This Analysis and New Insights is part of the Playbook for Paradigm Shift paper series, a collaborative effort of the Stanley Center for Peace and Security and E3G to develop bold ideas and practical solutions for faster climate action and a fairer economy out of this crisis.