Restoring the Economy with Climate Solutions: Recommendations to Congress

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic fallout represent unprecedented challenges for the United States and the world. While our foremost priorities are stemming the immediate public health crisis and helping those suffering the direct economic consequences, governments must also begin working to revitalize damaged economies. As they undertake these efforts, governments should be mindful of opportunities to simultaneously shift economies to lower-carbon pathways. Actions that can create jobs and stimulate growth in the near term can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen climate resilience. This policy brief recommends key steps Congress can take to advance both economic recovery and climate solutions.

Through the Climate Innovation 2050 initiative, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is working with leading companies to advance pathways toward carbon neutrality. Our report, Getting to Zero: A U.S. Climate Policy, outlines policies that over the coming decade can put the United States on the path to carbon neutrality.

While long-term decarbonization remains our primary focus, we are also leveraging the ideas and networks developed through Climate Innovation 2050 to help identify near-term actions that can contribute to economic recovery. This brief, developed with input from a wide range of companies, recommends a range of measures that Congress should consider incorporating into future economic recovery efforts.

We have prioritized actions that:

  • can quickly create jobs and have other clear, near-term economic benefits
  • have meaningful climate benefits
  • help leverage private investment
  • help vulnerable communities
  • strengthen resilience
  • can be quickly deployed through existing programs.

This brief offers recommendations for:

  • Putting Infrastructure to Work
  • Powering America
  • Keeping America Moving
  • Investing in Communities
  • Boosting Energy Efficiency
  • Strengthening Resilience.