Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies should embark on green structural reforms and promote a green recovery from the economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, said an APEC report on Wednesday.
The 2022 APEC Economic Report, released ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting this week, found that APEC members' fiscal stimulus spending on green initiatives is fairly small and that most stimulus packages are spent on business-as-usual activities.
The report argues that governments' responses to economic shocks can provide the impetus and means to promote a green recovery that contributes both to economic growth and to improvements in environmental outcomes.
If economies increase their efficiency, flexibility and resilience through structural reform, the region will become stronger and more resilient, said James Ding, chair of the APEC Economic Committee, the group that produced the report alongside the APEC Policy Support Unit.
There is a need for a sense of urgency in addressing environmental challenges while tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
The report recommended that member economies should engage in capacity building and knowledge-sharing, such as developing pricing schemes, understanding the process of implementing green regulatory measures, and strengthening interinstitutional collaboration within and across economies.
APEC officials are convening here for the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting with the theme of "Open, Connect and Balance" and a focus on the economic recovery in the region and beyond.