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GSI in the media: Few countries living up to Covid 'green recovery' pledges

GSI features in The Guardian:

Few countries are living up to their promises of a “green recovery” from the coronavirus crisis, with hundreds of billions of dollars likely to be spent on economic rescue packages that increase greenhouse gas emissions, research has found.

The US is planning nearly $3tn in spending with few environmental safeguards attached, and little money going to low-carbon efforts, while rolling back regulations that protect nature and the environment. Of the total US stimulus of about $2.98tn, only about $39bn is going towards green projects, according to the analysis.

Among the world’s 20 biggest economies, only the UK, Germany and France as individual countries, and the EU as a whole, are planning for a green recovery in which the benefits to the climate and nature outweigh the negative impacts.

One major question is over the role of China, which has given mixed signals on a green recovery. Over the past six months, the country has made plans for an increase in coal-fired power generation, to widespread concern among supporters of the Paris agreement. However, on Tuesday, at the UN general assembly, China’s president, Xi Jinping, committed the country to ensuring emissions peak and start to fall before the end of this decade, and are reduced to net zero by 2060.

“This new goal is a vital and welcome course correction. The next step will be urgent signalling in China’s Covid-19 stimulus that it will not support a wave of new coal power plants, instead directing recovery funds into measures that cut carbon emissions, such as renewable power, energy efficiency and electric vehicle infrastructure, and attaching green conditions to any airline and automotive bailouts.”

Mateo Salazar, lead author of the Greenness of Stimulus Index

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