UN Chief: Only Green Companies Should Be Saved

UN Chief: Only Green Companies Should Be Saved

Global Warming Policy Forum 29/04/20

António Guterres calls for coronavirus aid to be directed at firms with green credentials

Governments should not use taxpayer cash to rescue fossil fuel companies and carbon-intensive industries, but should devote economic rescue packages for the coronavirus crisis to businesses that cut greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs, the UN secretary general has urged.

“Where taxpayers’ money is used to rescue businesses, it must be creating green jobs and sustainable and inclusive growth,” said António Guterres, speaking at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, a virtual meeting of more than 30 governments on the climate crisis, which concluded on Tuesday. “It must not be bailing out outdated, polluting, carbon-intensive industries.”

His call was echoed by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who led the meeting, which was also attended by the UK and China. “The coronavirus shows us that international cooperation is crucial and that the wellbeing of one nation always depends on the wellbeing of others,” she said. “There will be a difficult debate about the allocation of funds. But it is important that recovery programmes always keep an eye on the climate. We must not sideline climate, but invest in climate technologies.” […]

Campaigners and experts have been calling for economic rescue packages to be directed towards environmentally sustainable ends and for sectoral stimulus cash to come with green strings attached.

Dominic Raab, the UK’s foreign secretary, said: “It will be the duty of every responsible government to see that our economies are revived and rebuilt in a way that will stand the test of time. That means investing in industries and infrastructure that can turn the tide on climate change and doing all we can to boost resilience by shaping economies that can withstand everything nature throws at us.”