Decisions taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis today will lock in the world’s development patterns for decades. With policy decisions made on a daily basis, information about how public money is being spent can be hard to follow. That is why a consortium led by IISD of 21 expert organizations, including I4CE, has launched the “Energy Policy Tracker” website to track Covid-19 recovery packages from a climate and energy perspective.
G20 governments have pledged to inject trillions of dollars into the global economy to counteract the health, social, and financial shocks caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This large-scale stimulus spending will shape the global economy for decades to come. These decisions could trigger unbearable climate disasters or create a resilient and safe economy powered by clean energy.
The non-profit project Energy Policy Tracker provides information on public money commitments for different energy types, as well as other policies supporting energy production and consumption. The research follows a bottom-up approach, which involves collecting data on individual policies at an individual country level, and then aggregating them.
The Tracker includes monetary, fiscal and other policies. Policies are classified according to different criteria. One of the key criteria is a policy’s environmental profile that depends on 1) which energy types it benefits, and 2) whether it has any environmental conditionality attached. Throughout the Tracker, information is split across five categories:
- “fossil unconditional”: policies that support production and consumption of fossil fuels without any climate targets or additional pollution reduction requirements;
- “fossil conditional” : policies that support production or consumption of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal, “blue” hydrogen or fossil fuel-based electricity) with climate targets or additional pollution reduction requirements;
- “clean unconditional”: policies that support production or consumption of energy that is both low-carbon and has negligible impacts on the environment if implemented with appropriate safeguards;
- “clean conditional”: policies that are stated to support the transition away from fossil fuels, but unspecific about the implementation of appropriate environmental safeguards;
- “other energy”: policies which fall of the two ‘clean’ and the two ‘fossil’ buckets, e.g. supporting nuclear energy, “first generation” biofuels, biomass and biogas, incineration, hydrogen of unspecified origin, and multiple energy types.
The Energy Policy Tracker aims to identify all relevant policies which have been implemented since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Theonline database is updated on a weekly basis, to provide the latest information about government policy responses to the pandemic from a climate and energy perspective. The website features filters by country, energy type, finance mechanisms, and other categories which show, at a glance, what types of measures countries are implementing to tackle the crisis and what is shaping our future energy system.
Data as of 25/11/2020
The team behind the Tracker is made of:
- Six organisations in the Core Group:IISD, IGES, OCI, ODI, SEI and Columbia University
- Contributing Partners: Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS, Germany), Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN, Argentina), Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC, Brazil), Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE, France), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM, Mexico), Legambiente(Italy), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy), REN21 (renewables), The Australia Institute (TAI, Australia), Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (Russia), The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra (Finland), The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3, Spain), WiseEuropa (Poland), DiXi Group (Ukraine), and WWF South Africa. These partners contribute to the Tracker in the geographies (typically one country) and areas they are particularly interested in.