The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has advised Prime Minister Boris Johnson, COP26 President Alok Sharma and national first ministers across the UK, calling for climate action to be placed at the heart of an economic rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic. The CCC’s letter sets out six key focus points that the climate watchdog wants the UK to focus on when attempting to spur economic growth and national recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Committee calls on the Government to “avoid locking-in higher emissions or increased vulnerability to climate change in the longer-term”, notably by strengthening incentives to reduce emissions or by considering changes to the tax system. The CCC wants investments to focus on the net-zero transition to help support economic recovery and support green job growth. Stronger policies to reduce vulnerability to future risks of climate change are also required to “avoid a disorderly transition” to the UK’s net-zero target for 2050. The CCC believes that the government can lead a shift to new social norms, including supporting home working and remote medical consultations as well as improved safety for cycling. The cost of doing so, the letter says, must not burden those least able to pay for it, echoing calls for a fair and “just” societal shift to net-zero emissions. The CCC’s annual progress report to Parliament in June will feature rebuilding efforts for the economy and production in a way that supports a “just” transition towards net-zero emissions.
Edie 6th May 2020 read more »
The UK must avoid lurching from the coronavirus crisis into a deeper climate crisis, the government’s advisers have warned. They recommend that ministers ensure funds earmarked for a post-Covid-19 economic recovery go to firms that will reduce carbon emissions. They say the public should work from home if possible; and to walk or cycle. And investment should prioritise broadband over road-building, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says. People should also be encouraged to save emissions by continuing to consult GPs online. The government will reply later, although the Energy Secretary Alok Sharma has already spoken in favour of a green recovery to the recession.
BBC 6th May 2020 read more »
Restarting the economy and getting people back to work after the coronavirus lockdown should focus on low-carbon work programmes, the UK government’s climate advisers have urged. They said this would generate new jobs, protect the climate and ensure a fairer economy for everyone. People’s homes could be made ready for winter and new jobs created through schemes to insulate houses, while tree-planting could begin and flood barriers be constructed, the Committee on Climate Change advised Boris Johnson.
Guardian 6th May 2020 read more »
In letters to the Prime Minister and First Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Committee on Climate Change sets out six key principles to rebuild the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic whilst delivering a stronger, cleaner and more resilient economy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change is integral to the UK’s recovery package, the Committee says. Immediate steps are needed to support reskilling, retraining and research; to build a climate-resilient economy; to scale up housing retrofits and build new homes that are fit for the future; to invest in low-carbon, resilient infrastructure such as improved broadband instead of new roads; to make it easy for people to work remotely, walk and cycle and to expand tree planting, peatland restoration, green spaces and green infrastructure. The 6 principles are: 1. Use climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs. 2. Lead a shift towards positive, long-term behaviours. This includes actions to support home-working, remote medical consultations and improve safety for cyclists. 3. Tackle the wider ‘resilience deficit’ on climate change. 4. Embed fairness as a core principle. 5. Ensure the recovery does not lock-in greenhouse gas emissions or increased risk. 6. Strengthen incentives to reduce emissions when considering tax changes.
Committee on Climate Change 6th May 2020 read more »
Energy Voice 6th May 2020 read more »
Business Green 6th May 2020 read more »
Reuters 6th May 2020 read more »
In the aftermath of the global coronavirus pandemic, governments are likely to mobilise significant spending to reinvigorate their economies. Our new research, based on surveys of more than 200 of the world’s most senior economists and economic officials, suggests that spending this money on climate-friendly “green” policy initiatives could not only help shift the world closer to a net-zero emissions pathway, but could also offer the best economic returns for government spending.
Carbon Brief 4th May 2020 read more »
Massive programmes of green public investment would be the most cost-effective way both to revive virus-hit economies and strike a decisive blow against climate change, top U.S. and British economists said in a study published on Tuesday. With co-authors including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University and prominent British climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, the findings are likely to fuel calls for “green recoveries” gathering momentum around the world. “The COVID-19 crisis could mark a turning point in progress on climate change,” the authors wrote, adding that much would depend on policy choices made in the next six months. With major economies drawing up enormous economic packages to cushion the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, many investors, politicians and businesses see a unique opportunity to drive a shift to a low-carbon future.
Reuters 5th May 2020 read more »
How Life in Our Cities Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic. The pandemic will change urban life forever. We asked 12 leading global experts in urban planning, policy, history, and health for their predictions.
Foreign Policy 1st May 2020 read more »
The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today a detailed report considering the impact of the coronavirus, or Covid-19 as it is also known, on the nuclear sector, on the climate crisis and what government can do next to keep the economy moving through strong support of the low carbon, renewable sector. NFLA notes that an analysis by Carbon Brief suggests the Covid-19 pandemic could cause emissions cuts globally this year in the region of 1,600m tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2). Although this number is necessarily uncertain, countries and sectors not yet included in the analysis can be expected to add to the total. But this is equivalent to only around 4% of the global total in 2019. Although the largest ever annual fall in CO2 emissions, more than during any previous economic crisis or period of war, it would not come close to the 7.6% fall countries need to achieve every year in order to limit warming to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures. To put it another way, atmospheric carbon levels are still expected to increase this year, and rising CO2 concentrations will only stabilise once annual emissions reach net-zero.
NFLA 5th May 2020 read more »
A group of leading academics, campaigners, and executives have this week issued a renewed call for governments to accelerate efforts to scale up the deployment of Nature-Based Solutions capable of simultaneously reducing carbon emissions and restoring natural habitats. In an open letter, the group issued a “global call” for governments and organisations to “engage in the fight against the global threats of biodiversity loss and climate change”.
Business Green 6th May 2020 read more »
Massive programmes of green public investment would be the most cost-effective way both to revive virus-hit economies and strike a decisive blow against climate change, top US and British economists said in a report published on Tuesday. With co-authors including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University and prominent British climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, the findings are likely to fuel calls for “green recoveries” gathering momentum around the world.
Independent 5th May 2020 read more »