The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) chief executive Chris Stark believes the UK Government should prioritise a green and resilient economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic that doesn’t lock in fossil fuels and puts the nation on an upwards trajectory towards a socially just net-zero transformation. He said: “We’re going to have to think much more carefully about a ‘just’ transition and shifting employment from high-carbon to low-carbon practices in a way that protects the people who work in those industries. Net-zero offers that transition, but it is the role of government to help those industries and ensure the transition takes place in a fair and well-managed way.” Stark believes that the UK Government is in a “better position” than most other countries to stimulate an economic recovery as the nation has been preparing for an infrastructure overhaul as part of the National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS) which was delayed before the Covid-19 outbreak. The 30-year strategy outlines how £100bn will be spent over this parliament, and the BBC states that investments will be used to “level up” regions and outline spending projections for transport and digital infrastructure. Electric vehicles (EVs) and renewables infrastructure are mooted to be big aspects of the NIS. Stark believes some aspects of the NIS may have to be “tailored” to account for improved resiliency and adaptation to respond to future disruptions, many of which could be caused by climate change. He also noted that the £28bn set aside for new road developments could be revisited if people continue to reduce travel and work remotely after the lockdown and spending on digital infrastructure and connectivity may be of better use.
Edie 22nd April 2020 read more »
As the global economy sinks into a steep recession, one of the few beneficial impacts has been a better environment. This may sound callous but is a clear inference from indicators showing a decline in carbon dioxide emissions since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. The danger is that as countries exit the lockdowns and seek economic growth, some will be tempted to conclude that environmental concerns are a luxury they can ill afford. That would be a mistake. The crisis has already had immense social effects in the way people work and commute. These should be built into a strategy for economic recovery when the crisis recedes. They could give momentum to achieving Britain’s target of bringing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The discernible improvement in air quality in urban areas due to the absence of traffic and the decline in fossil fuel use is an opportunity to gain public consent to a strategy of green growth as an exit from the crisis.
Times 23rd April 2020 read more »
UK Business Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma has today called on governments around the world to submit enhanced climate action plans and place clean technologies at the heart of their post-coronavirus economic recovery strategies. In an intervention timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Sharma joined with Italian Environment Minister Sergio Costa to stress that the co-hosts for the COP26 Climate Summit were seeking to accelerate global decarbonisation efforts, despite the economic crisis unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Business Green 22nd May 2020 read more »
James Shaw, New Zealand’s climate change minister, has asked the country’s independent climate change commission to check whether its emissions targets under the Paris agreement are enough to limit global heating to 1.5C. He explains why he’s prioritising the issue during a strict national lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19, which could send New Zealand’s unemployment rate soaring.
Guardian 23rd April 2020 read more »