Growing evidence shows, for countries to achieve low carbon growth, decision-makers must create investment environments that steer finance from ‘brown’ to ‘green’.

ClimateWorks has published the Growth through transformation: An investment vision guide for climate and development, which is designed to support governments achieve their economic, climate and sustainable development goals. By creating the enabling environment, governments can unlock the public, private and development finance required for the transition.

The unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic means governments must not only work towards their commitments to the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda, but also manage the significant economic impacts of the pandemic and its impacts on their people. A growing body of evidence has found low-carbon growth as the best approach to sustained, sustainable and inclusive country outcomes. 

As such, this guide comes as countries face a choice. This is between actions that could set the climate back by decades, or those that can help make possible the transformational shift that will enable countries to mount a sustainable economic recovery, bringing strong benefits to people and the environment. A country’s Investment Vision can support a shift in decision-making, policy design and government budgeting from a focus on incremental emissions reductions to the transformational change required by the climate challenge.

“The change must go beyond incremental changes in emissions. Transformational change aligned with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals holds benefits far greater than the trade-offs,” said Meg Argyriou, ClimateWorks Head of International Programs who led the development of the guide. “However the process requires difficult decisions about key industries and communities which this guide aims to support leaders through.

“An Investment Vision can help governments achieve the most ‘bang for buck’ with their goals for economic recovery, climate and sustainable development. The guide itself is a theoretical framework made up of rich tools and resources and activities designed to support countries to implement their long-term, low-emissions development strategy. 

“We know all governments will come to this guide from different perspectives, so while some will benefit from working through this guide from start to finish we have designed it in five parts so governments can also choose to prioritise those factors most pressing to unlocking investment in climate-compatible infrastructure and actions in their national context.”

The Investment Vision Guide has been developed as part of the ‘From NDCs to Pathways and Policies: Transformative Climate Action after Paris’ project led by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) with the support of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

“The Transformative Climate Action after Paris project aims to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs in major emerging economies – Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa – we’ve expanded the focus of the guide so it can be used by all low and middle-income governments and can support cross-government collaboration,” says Meg.

The guide encourages governments to think about investment in the context of the structural and social adjustments necessitated by decarbonisation, assisting them to minimise the inevitable risks and capitalise on the emerging opportunities.

COVID-19 has dealt countries striving towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement a significant economic blow. But the recovery presents countries with developing economies with an opportunity to invest in a prosperous low carbon future. 

“Each country is different,” says Meg Argyriou, “So this guide aims to be flexible to meet the needs of the national context. While it’s designed for governments, the outputs of the process can be valuable for investors who play a role in the continuum of capital for developing countries.”

The release of this guide will be supported by briefings with interested stakeholders. Please contact Aisha Reynolds if you are interested in learning more.

Access: Growth through transformation: An investment vision guide for climate and development