Green economy recovery packages for the coronavirus crisis will repair the global economy and put the world on track to tackle climate breakdown, but time is running out to implement the changes needed, new analysis has shown. Projects which cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulating economic growth deliver higher returns on government spending, in the short term and in the longer term, than conventional stimulus spending, the study from Oxford University found. Climate crisis will deepen the pandemic. A green stimulus plan can tackle both. Many of the projects that could create new jobs in the UK are “shovel-ready”, compliant with social distancing requirements and could be started quickly, said Cameron Hepburn, director of the Smith School of enterprise and the environment at Oxford University and lead author of the study. He cited energy efficiency programmes to insulate the UK’s draughty housing stock, the building of electric vehicle charging networks, redesigning roads for more cycling, flood protection and planting trees. “These all need large-scale deployment, offer low to moderate skilled work and will have benefits in terms of climate change as well as boosting the economy,” he said. The Oxford study compared green stimulus projects with traditional stimulus, such as measures taken after the 2008 global financial crisis, and found green projects create more jobs, deliver higher short-term returns per pound spent by the government, and lead to increased long-term cost savings.
Guardian 5th May 2020 read more »
‘Reality check’: McKinsey highlights true scale of the net zero challenge. Influential consultancy details how five major shifts will be necessary to steer the global economy on to a sustainable path, and that a laggard approach to the decarbonisation of power and transport now will have direct impact on the levels of reforestation required later.
Business Green 4th May 2020 read more »
Last month the Dutch government announced a bold set of climate policies designed to reduce annual carbon emissions by nearly 10 megatons, comparable to the yearly output of Latvia. Several new coal power plants are to be closed or run at minimum capacity, a €3bn spending package will subsidise renewable energy projects and home refits, and there are a slew of smaller policy tweaks, for example on livestock numbers, reforestation and lowering the national speed limit. The middle of a public health crisis may seem like a strange time to make new climate commitments, but the Dutch government had little choice. A court case brought by environmental groups in 2014 and upheld by the supreme court last year forced the government to act to reduce emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by the end of 2020 at the latest. It is climate action under extreme duress. There are more than 1,500 climate lawsuits either complete or ongoing in the world, including similar cases in Ireland and Norway, but this is by far the most successful to date. Michael Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, says the Dutch case is the “strongest climate change decision ever issued by a court” and the only one that has forced government policy.
Guardian 4th May 2020 read more »