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Climate activists have been calling for the importance of aligning stimulus measures with climate policies so that economic recovery can be sustainable and climate-resilient (so-called green recovery). The COVID-19 pandemic has presented both a health crisis and an economic crisis. For the gulf Arab states, the pandemic has been of a dual economic challenge: declining economic activity due to domestic COVID-19 restrictions and sharply lower government oil revenue as a result of the historic decline in oil prices. This lecture presents an overview of the policy responses adopted across the GCC to address both the pandemic health risks as well as the economic setbacks. Given the vulnerability of the GCC states and the impacts of climate change, this lecture also asks whether it makes sense for the GCC states align its economic recovery with its climate and sustainability ambitions. It provides an assessment of the extent at which climate and sustainability ambitions were aligned with economic recovery measures in the GCC states.

Date of the lecture
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Dr. Aisha Al-Sarihi