The Oxford Martin Initiative on a

Net Zero Recovery

The Deep Medicine programme ran from 2018 - 2023. The following page is an archived resource.

The Challenge

To mitigate the economic fallout from COVID-19, governments have implemented large-scale fiscal stimulus packages. There is hope that this huge fiscal injection could drive action on climate change, but this will not happen by accident.

Governments are supporting the private sector on a vast scale and could use this as an opportunity to support sustainable recovery. By conditioning bailouts and recovery packages on the adoption of credible net zero strategies by the businesses that receive them governments could enable countries and organisations to meet their obligation to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 under the Paris Agreement.

The initiative will bring together researchers from across law, public policy, climate science and sustainable finance to understand the sectors and regions where this conditionality could have the greatest impact.

Based on this it will develop template sets of minimum criteria for the net zero commitments required, particularly for hard-to-abate sectors with high emissions, like shipping, aviation, steel and cement.

The initiative will also build on the wide public calls to ‘build back better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic, to make the economic and legal case to policymakers for integrating net zero plans in their COVID-19 stimulus packages.

Between the broad societal goal of economic recovery, the heightened public awareness of climate change and our relationship with nature, and the spotlight on net zero commitments in the run-up to COP 26 in November 2021, this period is a huge opportunity to kickstart the transition to a net zero economy. This initiative aims to make that case to governments while also developing templates and legal mechanisms to make it simple for them to act.