Media briefs

Media brief: A summary of international clean stimulus efforts

Clean Energy Canada is a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. Through media briefs, we aim to provide journalists with useful factual and contextual information related to Canada’s clean energy transition. Please use this as a resource, and let us know if there are any topics that you would like to see for future media briefs. 

Calls for an economic recovery grounded in clean energy and climate action are growing louder. From the executive director of the International Energy Agency, who called it a “historic opportunity,” to the head of the International Monetary Fund, who said if we are to come out of COVID with more resilience, “we must do everything in our power to make it a green recovery.”

Around the world, governments are listening. As some COVID restrictions begin to ease, leaders are mapping out their plans for economic recovery. This brief provides a summary of some of the intended or announced clean stimulus measures.


The European Union

  • On May 27, the European Commission proposed a €750-billion (C$1.14-trillion) recovery fund to steer the continent toward carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan sets aside 25% of all funding for climate action, which includes €40 billion (C$61 billion) earmarked for assisting EU Member States in transitioning towards climate neutrality. The proposals are expected to provide up to €80 billion (C$120 billion) invested in boosting electric vehicle sales and charging infrastructure, up to €91 billion (C$137 billion) a year for building energy retrofits, as much as €30 billion (C$46 billion) for the development of green hydrogen, and an annual €10 billion (C$15 billion) to support renewable energy and hydrogen infrastructure. 
  • The announcement came after political leaders and European Commissionofficials voiced intentions to adopt clean stimulus measures in line with the EU’s Green Deal climate plan. This would include investments in clean energy, sustainable transportation systems, green buildings, and hydrogen technology. 
  • On May 26, France announced a €8-billion (C$12-billion) plan to accelerate the transition to electric cars, which will include increasing the electric car amount buyers can receive as a state bonus towards the purchase of an electric car. In addition, and in contrast to most other financial measures for European airlines, France made its €7-billion support for Air France contingent on it reducing domestic routes which will cut emissions by encouraging the use of lower-carbon transport options like high-speed rail.
  • Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated her government aims to implement a stimulus package that “helps the economy’s move toward climate neutrality,” saying “it will be all the more important that if we set up economic stimulus programmes, we must always keep a close eye on climate protection.” 
  • Denmark has allocated kr. 30 billion (C$6 billion) for green building renovations, estimated to help upgrade 72,000 homes.

U.S. states

  • New York State has sped up the permitting of clean energy projects to provide jobs and boost the clean energy sector.
  • California governor Gavin Newsom assembled a task force to develop a strategy for the state’s economic recovery that is to focus, in part, on a clean recovery. This group includes champions of climate action, namely billionaire activist Tom Steyer and former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown.


  • China has committed to investing over US$383 million (C$526 million) in electric vehicle charging stations. State Grid Corp of China, a state-owned electric utility, has announced it will set up 78,000 charging stations across the country.

Other countries


For information about past clean stimulus measures, see our previous media brief on stimulus measures in the post-2008 U.S. If you would like to speak to an expert about the topic:

  • Sarah Petrevan, policy director, Clean Energy Canada (please contact
  • The International Institute for Sustainable Development has a list of experts, many of whom specialize in sustainable economic strategies.
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