Driving a Green and Resilient Recovery: High-Level Dialogues | WWF

WWF and OECD have joined forces to organise three high-level dialogues aimed at informing the development of build better, greener and more resilient post-COVID-19 societies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world, impacting lives and livelihoods and exposing how fragile our countries and systems are to major shocks. The necessary measures taken by many governments to deal with the health crisis have saved lives, but also affected our economies.  

As the first wave of the pandemic recedes in some countries, many governments are pushing forward with recovery and stimulus measures that are unprecedented in scale. There are growing calls from governments, business and civil society to ensure that these measures support a sustainable and resilient future but few examples of where this is happening in practice. There is widespread recognition that the world should not return to business as usual.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, it is more imperative than ever to change our relationship with nature and our impacts on the climate, biodiversity and improve access to clean water and sanitation.

© Pixabay

Unleashing the Potential of Finance to Green the Recovery

Register for the webinar on 12 June, 3:00-4:30pm CEST
An increasing number of finance ministries, central banks and financial supervisors see climate risks as part of their mandate. A few of them are also considering the loss or degradation of biodiversity and ecosystems as a potential source of risk for the financial sector. They are already developing a body of work to incorporate those risks in their supervisory mandates and undertake climate stress testing.

But that is based on how the economy operated yesterday.

The COVID-19 recovery is bringing to the forefront fundamental questions about the role of government in managing systemic risks and building resilience to systemic risks – not only pandemics, but also climate change and biodiversity loss. Governments with long-term vision can adopt a green recovery approach in order to redirect investment in the economy to change the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions growth and to finance nature-based solutions.

Multilateral organisations have an important role to play in supporting developing countries on this path.

Finance ministers from 52 countries have committed to the Helsinki Principles which talk very specifically about incorporating climate change in fiscal policies, working towards reducing fossil-fuel subsidies and internalizing carbon pricing.

We ask our speakers:
  • How do the economic impacts of COVID-19 affect plans to accelerate financial flows to and within developing countries for sustainable development?
  • How can we ensure that green and sustainable finance continues to be seen by governments (including finance ministries) as an urgent priority during and following the COVID-19 recovery?
  • What levers can finance regulators, policy makers and international development institutions use to ensure that we not only build back better but can leap-frog existing technologies and mainstream sustainability?
© Paul Colangelo / WWF-US
This webinar was held on 5 June 2020.

Nature-Based Solutions as a Force for a Green and Resilient Recovery

Nature-based solutions (NbS) harness the power of ecosystems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also help us adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce biodiversity loss. They are solutions that involve protecting, restoring and sustainably managing ecosystems to provide economic, social and environmental benefits.

Recently, both public and private institutions and the international community have begun to seriously consider nature-based solutions as an important component of responses to the interlinked biodiversity and climate challenges, while providing concrete economic and social benefits to local stakeholders.

Large-scale restoration of degraded ecosystems, protection of critical ecosystems under threat, development of green infrastructure in rural and urban environments, and better management of protected areas, provide many societal benefits, including increasing resilience to climate change impacts and improving public health. In addition, recent evidence suggests that reforestation and habitat restoration could indeed be effective ways to generate “shovel-ready” jobs, which will be crucial in the economic recovery and rehabilitation from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are NbS being considered by decision-makers as part of the recovery measures from the COVID-19 crisis? What NbS interventions can help to most effectively drive growth in jobs and incomes? Are there short, medium and long-term trade-offs we should consider?


Opening remarks: José Ángel Gurría

Secretary-General, OECD

The relevance of nature in a post-COVID society

Opening remarks: Guy Ryder

Director-General, ILO


Karin Kemper

Global Director, Environment Practice, World Bank

Multilateral development and nature-based solutions

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez 

Minister of Environment, Costa Rica

Nature-based solutions in national recovery packages: Insights from Costa Rica

Kobie Brand

Regional Director: ICLEI Africa & Global Director: ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center

Urban NbS and their relevance in the recovery: Insights from South Africa

Rodolfo Lacy

Director, Environment Directorate, OECD

Nature and jobs resilience

Moderator: Manuel Pulgar-Vidal 

Global Leader of WWF's Climate and Energy Practice

Webinar 2: Recording

  • Watch the recording of the second high-level dialogue using the video player below, or view it on YouTube.

© Luis Barreto / WWF-UK
This webinar was held on 29 May 2020.

Aligning NDCs with a Post-COVID-19 World

In recent months, many studies and webinars have highlighted the importance of aligning COVID-19 recovery packages with climate and environmental objectives. A green recovery should not only offer local public returns on government investments, but should also put the world on track to a much-needed pathway towards net-zero emissions, helping to avert future economic and social shocks from climate change.

It is imperative that we make this possible. Countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are not currently consistent with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. As governments consider their revisions to NDCs ahead of COP26, they have an opportunity to make increased ambition part of a people-centered economic recovery strategy.

Several governments have already presented or are preparing new or enhanced NDCs and long-term Low-Emissions Development Strategies, making it clear that climate action and enhanced ambition is possible and necessary despite the economic and health crises.


Opening remarks: Masamichi Kono

Deputy Secretary-General, OECD

Acting now for a green recovery

Laurence Tubiana

CEO, European Climate Foundation

The importance of NDCs in 2020 and links with the COVID-19 recovery

Simon Buckle 

Head of Climate, Biodiversity and Water Division, OECD

Can we integrate climate action and recovery?

Roberto Esmeral

Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment & Sustainable Development, Colombia

Aligning recovery with more ambitious NDCs: Insights from Colombia

Moderator: Manuel Pulgar-Vidal 

Global Leader of WWF's Climate and Energy Practice