LSE Blog Roundup: The case for a green recovery in post-COVID Latin America

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by: Amir Lebdioui

The impact of COVID-19 will be more serious in Latin America than anywhere else in the world. To mitigate the damage and improve long-term prospects, the region needs to target a green recovery based on environmentally friendly growth and an expansion of renewable energy.

The combination of COVID-19 and collapsing oil prices is expected to cause Latin American economies to contract by an average of 7.2% in 2020. Bouncing back from this massive shock will be no easy task. There is, however, a growing realisation that a return to the status quo will not be enough, and momentum is building towards the idea of “building back better”.

To date, most of the debate around the idea of a green recovery (and previously the Green New Deal) has taken place within a handful of advanced economies, with only minor exceptions like the “Pacto Ecosocial del Sur” emerging in the Latin American context. The irony is that Latin America has great need and great potential for a green recovery, not least because its rich legacy of development thinking has increasingly incorporated indigenous perspectives that promote development in harmony with nature (especially in Bolivia and Ecuador).

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