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Green Recovery Plans at Risk Due to Coronavirus Aid for Fossil Fuel Industries

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Campaigners have warned that the UN climate talks are at risk of being derailed due to governments and central banks not outlining a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Last week, the UN and UK made an attempt to reignite the COP26 climate talks, which have been delayed due to the pandemic, with the ‘Race for Zero’ scheme.

The initiative got almost 1000 businesses to sign up to reduce their emissions to net-zero by 2050. The companies that signed up included Nestlé, Diageo, and Rolls-Royce.

Special envoy for climate and finance, and former governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said: “The transition to net zero is creating the greatest commercial opportunity of our time. Net zero targets must be underpinned by transition plans so that investors can assess which companies will seize the opportunities in the transition and which will cease to exist.”

However, campaigners are arguing that talk is not enough as central banks are still propping up carbon-intensive companies

“It’s been great to hear the government’s warm words about the green recovery, but what really matters now are the policies and investments needed to make it a reality,” said green recovery campaigner at Greenpeace UK, Morten Thaysen.

“The UK has a chance to lead on the world stage next year with COP26, and set an example of what building back better actually looks like. Committing to this ahead of the climate talks will show international leadership on what a truly green recovery looks like.”

According to the analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the vast majority of stimulus funds set aside by governments is being used to maintain the current fossil fuel economy. Over £305bn is being thrown at high-carbon sectors throughout the world, without any conditions compelling these companies to reduce their carbon footprints.

Low-carbon industries, such as renewable energy, are only receiving about £9.7bn. However, £14.6bn in funds has been given to high-carbon industries on the condition that they achieve their carbon reduction goals.

“The clock is ticking for the UK to show it’s serious about a green recovery,” said head of politics at the Green Alliance thinktank, Chris Venables.

“We’ve heard bold and ambitious words from Boris Johnson and other ministers, but with the first stimulus package only weeks away we need to see the government’s plans to support its ambitions. We need to take some big steps. Let’s fire the starting gun on a real green recovery.”

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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