Aligning COVID-19 recovery programs with the enhancement and implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) offers a significant opportunity for countries to adopt ambitious climate actions while promoting sustained economic recovery.

In 2019, power generation accounted for 41 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, more than 70 percent of which were contributed by coal. This suggests that power sector emissions must drop by an average of 4 percent per year in order to meet 2030 targets (IEA 2020). Although the world experienced declines in emissions in 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns, the resumption of economic activities threatens a rebound of emissions.

Economic recovery plans now underway provide a unique opportunity to advance climate actions by investing in climate-resilient infrastructure and driving the transition to a low-carbon future through economic recovery stimulus packages. By placing ambitious power sector climate actions at the heart of those stimulus packages, countries may work toward reducing power sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. For countries submitting revised NDCs, this is a chance to consider how green recovery investments could offer opportunities to develop and implement ambitious NDCs in the power sector.