The role of the state in the economy is being altered in practice because of the rescue and recovery programmes in the midst of Covid-19. These programmes are extraordinary in scale and in scope and could prove decisive for the world’s low-carbon transition. In the past, government intervention has already proved transformative, creating entirely new markets, including for the internet, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and clean energy. Green recovery will require the same level of strategic investment and partnership, except this time it is to solve environmental, not only technological, problems. Green stimulus packages provide a demand-side pull for the ICTs, leading to a constant increase in the proportion of intangibles in production and in consumption. The pandemic is shifting the economy to a low-contact, or low-touch modes, with health safety becoming a defining concern.
© United Nations, 2021