Non-profit, public, private collaboration could accelerate net-zero economic recovery

7 August 2020 | Muriel Cozier

A new project seeks to identify potential investment risks and opportunities to drive both carbon neutrality and economic growth.

A diverse group of organisations have joined forces to launch the first phase of an initiative supporting regions and countries in their economic recovery from covid-19, while accelerating their net-zero carbon emission goals.

Project Cygnus comprises Icebreaker One (a non-profit focused on unlocking data needed to deliver a net zero future), the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, the University college Dublin and the United Nations Environment Programme.

The project has been selected to receive funding as part of the Pandemic Response Projects, one of two instruments of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) crisis response initiative. The €1 million funding will be used to analyse current economic and environmental investment trends. The aim will be to develop strategies for investment and policymaking that will address fragility and the opportunities in the current systems that have been exposed by the pandemic. It will identify potential investment risks, and opportunities, to drive both carbon neutrality and economic growth.

The information collected will be used to develop tools, data infrastructure and policy recommendations, as well as economic modelling needed to support a post pandemic transition that addresses net-zero investments.

Damien McGarrigle, Programme Lead at the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence at University of Edinburgh said ‘One of the key questions being asked now is: If we had higher quality data to better understand our economy, how much of the financial  and human cost could we have avoided? The dreadful impact of the pandemic has highlighted the need for better data to enable quicker, more targeted interventions.’

Icebreaker One is calling on organisations, leaders and investors across the public and private sectors to participate in the project. A webinar to learn more about the project and how people can get involved is being held on 13th August 2020 at 11am, UK time. More details can be found on the Icebreaker One website.

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