Economic recovery in the face of COVID-19 in line with the Paris Agreement

The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has faced some of the worst health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Amid economic and social problems, inequality in the world's most unequal continent continues to rise. The region's labour markets have been affected by a sharp contraction of the economy, estimated at -8.1 per cent by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, the region's heavy dependence on agricultural products, commodities, fossil fuel exports and tourism make it highly vulnerable to climate change and associated natural disasters, which are on the rise.

It is essential that the region develops COVID-19 recovery packages accompanied by climate action in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Recovery efforts that are not aligned in the face of this dual crisis risk creating greater impacts and move us further away from achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


To achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery from this crisis, as outlined in the Bridgetown Declaration and the Climate Change Decision (22nd Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2021) it is essential that decision-makers have clear information and data on the status of responses to the pandemic and how these align with the efforts needed to meet the Paris commitments. Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must take into account short term as well as long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

In this context UNEP, with the support of EUROCLIMA+, is implementing the "COVID-19 Economic Recovery Support Programme in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean" to guide countries on developing responses that address both the economic and the social and climate crises. The region has a unique opportunity emerging from this crisis to reorient the region's economies towards future growth, lift millions of people out of poverty and, at the same time, advance the fight against climate change and other environmental goals.

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LAC Recovery Tracker  

The United Nations Environment Programme has partnered with Oxford University to develop the LAC Recovery Tracker, which tracks and analyses fiscal rescue and recovery policies announced by the 33 economies of the region in response to COVID-19 and their impacts on the environment, climate and other key socio-economic metrics. The objective of this initiative is to provide the Forum of Environment Ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean and its 33 member states with evidence to drive dialogue, advocacy and action towards the design of fiscal rescue and recovery policies that take into account the multidimensional crisis the LAC region is currently facing, providing inspiration to decision-makers and showcasing examples of green recovery spending for a sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Support to the development of National Reconstruction and Recovery Strategies 

UNEP within the EUROCLIMA+ Programme aims to support the countries of the region in carrying out a sustainable recovery from the pandemic. Within this line of work, starting with Honduras and with a view toward scaling up these efforts, the country will be supported in the development of its national reconstruction and recovery strategy. The COVID-19 Recovery Studies based on the Green Economy Model, funded by the EUROCLIMA+ Programme, will support the development of the national reconstruction and recovery strategy, as well as a long-term investment plan for a sustainable and green recovery from COVID-19 and the effects of hurricanes Eta and Iota. These efforts will be translated into concrete medium- and long-term investment strategies to ensure the adoption, ownership and integration of the results into national planning. This initiative is planned for a duration of 1 year and will work together with the Ministry of Environment, the Cabinet of Economic and Social Reactivation (GES) and the Secretariat in charge of the general coordination of public administration (SCGG) in Honduras.

COVID-19 Recovery Studies based on the Green Economy Model  

These studies will aim to quantify and guide the decarbonisation of economies and climate-resilient development through economic recovery packages, showing in a country-specific manner the most optimal way to incorporate climate actions into recovery plans. Using the Green Economy Model, analyses demonstrate how the inclusion of mitigation and adaptation measures in COVID-19 recovery would generate better economic outcomes in the short and long term. These studies are planned to be carried out in Honduras, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Grenada and in the AFOLU sector in Panama thanks to the support of EUROCLIMA+.



The energy transition as a driver of economic recovery in the face of COVID-19 in Panama”This is the first national study, based on the "Zero Carbon" report, following the same principles of decarbonisation of the energy and transport sectors as the main drivers for a paradigm shift. The study presents an analysis of the socio-economic costs and benefits and investment needs for the implementation of the Energy Transition Agenda. The results show the positive impacts of the implementation of Panama's Energy Transition Agenda.
Access the study

Is the COVID-19 economic recovery building a sustainable future?This report presents intermediate results of a broader analysis of the economic responses to the COVID-19 crisis in the LAC region, and how the allocated investments can accelerate the economic recovery phase while meeting climate change goals. The report has been developed thanks to an investment tracking tool, the LAC Recovery Tracker, which analyses over 1,100 policies to provide a live snapshot on spending in the region.
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Economic recovery in the face of COVID-19 in line with the Paris Agreement

The Economist, 21 April 2021


UNEP: Including energy transition in post-Covid plans would generate 15,000 jobs by 2024

Metro Liber, 21 April 2021


Panama's energy transition would provide US$160 million and 15,000 jobs

AN Panamá, 21 April 2021


Reaching 2050 as carbon negative is a challenge for Panama

En Segundos, 21 April 2021


Euroclima is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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