A greener future? Options for a climate-friendly recovery...
by Helen Steiger
What's Going On Here?
As we wait with anticipation for the UK government to release their plan on how current lockdown restrictions will be eased, there has been a great deal of debate on how we can foster a greener environment as we recover from the current COVID crisis.
What Does This Mean?
A recent study has highlighted that economic recovery packages that cut carbon emissions and stimulate economic growth deliver higher returns on investment for the government both in the long and short term. This comes after European politicians, companies, lawmakers and activists called for green investment in Europe to aid recovery post-lockdown.
1. Directing economic recovery towards environmentally sustainable projects
This would include funding projects and businesses that are low-carbon, help solve climate and ecological problems and drive countries towards their net-zero carbon targets. .
2. Providing stimulus and support to businesses with environmental strings attached
Many eco-advocates argue that any financial support should only be provided if the business commits to significant decarbonisation targets. This has already been enacted in France, where AirFrance was given a multi-billion euro payout with the proviso that it halved its overall carbon dioxide emissions per passenger-kilometre by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
3. Not supporting fossil-fuel industries and/or aviation industriesQuite a radical one, but there has also been a call to stop funding these industries at all, as they are not in keeping with a green future. With fossil fuels and airline companies contributing significantly to climate change, it has been argued that these industries should not be rescued or financially supported, using this money to fund environmentally-friendly solutions and offer employment in green industries instead.
Why Should We Care?
However, this change is not going to happen organically. It needs active thought, collaboration and pressure from all areas of society - business, government and people - in order for the next stage of recovery to be green. Now is an opportunity for us all to be involved in the transition, and being aware of what is possible in the ‘new normal’ is the first step.
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