Billionaires and global giants given emergency virus loans. Greenpeace said the airlines had received “billions in cheap and easy loans to keep them polluting” and accused the government of missing “endless opportunities to move Britain closer to the low-carbon economy we need”. Luke Hildyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre, a think tank, said: “Many of these companies have a poor record in terms of excessive executive pay at the top, poverty wages for their wider workforce and unsustainable environmental practices. It’s senseless for public bodies to prop up businesses without securing commitments to act in the public interest.”
Times 5th June 2020 read more »
The German government has unveiled plans for a massive €130bn stimulus package that features at least €40bn climate-related spending. In a move that will set a bar that other government’s mulling green recovery packages are likely to be measured against, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government yesterday published sweeping plans to boost electric vehicle sales, improve building energy efficiency, enhance public transport networks, develop hydrogen infrastructure, and shift the cost of renewables subsidies onto general taxation.
Business Green 4th June 2020 read more »
Andrew Bailey is governor of the Bank of England; François Villeroy de Galhau is governor of Banque de France; Frank Elderson is chair of the Network for Greening the Financial System and executive board member of the Nederlandsche Bank; Mark Carney is UN special envoy for climate action and finance: Collectively, countries around the globe are still far from meeting climate crisis goals, most notably the Paris agreement to limit the increase in global temperature to well below 2C, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5C. Over the last year, we have seen record temperatures across Europe, extreme rainfall in the US and wildfires in the Arctic. The effects of the climate crisis are irreversible, so the severity and frequency of these extreme weather events will only increase – by how much depends on our success in transitioning to a net-zero emission world. Recognising this risk, the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) – a coalition of 66 central banks, and supervisors – has been working to “green” the financial system to reduce the costly financial risks that these developments create. Acting early will help to smooth the transition and avoid a sharp and disorderly adjustment. To meet the goals of the Paris agreement requires a whole economy transition: every business, bank and financial institution will need to adapt. The pandemic has shown that we can change our ways of working, living and travelling, but it has also shown that making these adjustments at the height of a crisis brings enormous costs. To address climate breakdown, we can instead take decisions now that reduce emissions in a less disruptive manner. That requires us to be strategic. To build back better.
Guardian 5th June 2020 read more »
International flights taking off from the UK must be taken into account in the government’s calculations on reaching net zero emissions as part of a “green” recovery for the airline industry, a transport thinktank has urged. The government has given loan bailouts to airlines totalling £1.5bn since the coronavirus outbreak, with no environmental conditions attached. Ryanair is the latest company to secure a £600m loan from the scheme, despite its chief executive, Michael O’Leary’s outspoken condemnation of such bailouts across Europe as uncompetitive state aid. British Airways secured a £300m loan and EasyJet received £600m. The thinktank Transport and Environment calculates that more than £30bn has been promised or given in bailouts to airlines across Europe due to Covid-19, and it said the recovery of the industry must be sustainable and tied to policies to cut carbon emissions.
Guardian 4th June 2020 read more »
Independent 4th June 2020 read more »
Climate of optimism: Why veteran environmentalist Sir Jonathon Porritt is so hopeful right now. Exclusive: The global response to coronavirus has shown us what action looks like — ‘We are capable of doing astonishing things’, says writer and broadcaster. Speaking to The Independent following his appearance at the wonderfully-named Lockdown LitFest, Porritt, 69, explains his buoyancy, and why he believes the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could provide an opportunity for individuals and authorities. “It’s a right old mess we’re in right now,” he says, when I ask about the impact of coronavirus on the climate crisis. “In a way it’s going to be the critical test — whether we’ve got the ability to learn lessons from Covid-19 and actually incorporate them into some of our planning for addressing the climate emergency.” Porritt says one of the key revelations which has been “exciting” in terms of how we might address the climate crisis is how the pandemic showcased the sudden ability of governments and local authorities to act decisively. Speaking about the rapid roll-out of new cycling lanes and changes to road routes to help reduce the spread of the virus, Porritt takes aim at the government’s vast financial commitment to motor vehicles.
Independent 5th June 2020 read more »