The vital climate talks of the United Nations is being threatened of being sidelined maid the raging novel coronavirus pandemic even as governments and central banks across the world have seemingly failed to set out a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
A coalition of businesses committed last week to a Race for Zero agreement as they signed up to reduce their emissions to net zero by the middle of the current century which was an effort buy the UK and the UN to revive the stalled Cop26 climate talks. Almost 100 global companies have joined the pledge and the campaign which includes a host of household brands such as Rolls-Royce, Nestlé and Diageo.
“The transition to net zero is creating the greatest commercial opportunity of our time. Net zero targets must be underpinned by transition plans so that investors can assess which companies will seize the opportunities in the transition and which will cease to exist,” said Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England and UN special envoy for climate and finance.
But according to the campaigners, with various central banks pouring in money into propping up “business as usual”, simple rhetoric will not be enough.
“It’s been great to hear the government’s warm words about the green recovery, but what really matters now are the policies and investments needed to make it a reality,” said Morten Thaysen, green recovery campaigner at Greenpeace UK.
“The UK has a chance to lead on the world stage next year with Cop26, and set an example of what building back better actually looks like. Committing to this ahead of the climate talks will show international leadership on what a truly green recovery looks like.”
According to analyst company Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the fossil fuel powered economy is set to get a boost as a large proportion of the stimulus money that have been announced so far by governments around the world is aimed at industries powered by fossil fuel. High-carbon emitting industries are likely to get more than half a trillion dollars worldwide – $509bn and there are not conditions attached to e financing about ensuring that the industries reduce their carbon footprint.
In contract, the low-carbon industries, such as renewable energy is set to get only about $12.3bn while another $18.5bn is set to be pumped into high-carbon industries with the condition that these industries strive to achieve climate targets.
“The Bank of England’s failure to lead by example in greening its activities risks seriously undermining the UK’s efforts to show global leadership on climate through Cop26,” said Fran Boait, executive director of the pressure group Positive Money. “It would be farcical if the institution underpinning Britain’s financial system is still pumping money towards companies whose business models are utterly incompatible with global emissions targets.”
And according to analysis by the pressure group Reclaim Finance, l;ending to high-carbon industries has been propped up by the European Central Bank too and as much as €220bn being earmarked for fossil fuel industries.
(Adapted from TheGuardian)