G7 criticizes the Covid rescue plan for not attaching “green conditions”

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Despite the government’s commitment to “rebuild greener” and reduce carbon emissions, the world’s major economies have allocated more than $189 billion in pandemic recovery funds to support fossil fuels.

From January 2020 to March this year, of the US$372 billion spent by G7 countries in energy production and consumption activities, more than half was used for coal, oil and natural gas. Tearfund’s research, A development charity supported by two independent think tanks.

Most of the funds were handed over “without strings attached” to companies that received help to reduce their carbon footprint.

Rich Gower, senior assistant at Tearfund, said: “The economic recovery after Covid is a huge opportunity to accelerate the transition to a green economy.” “At present, G7 has not seized this opportunity.”

The epidemic lifeline highlighted in the report includes The German government rescued Lufthansa with 9 billion euros And the US government’s US$10 billion support for the airport.

Approximately $147 billion is spent on clean energy projects, such as tax incentives in Italy, to encourage people to improve the energy efficiency of their houses.

G7 countries account for about a quarter of global carbon emissions, but only about 10% of the world’s population.

Before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow in November this year, governments had already put forward their green pledges. More ambitious emission reduction plans are accompanied by promises to inject funds into the development of new green jobs and industries.

A chart of public funding commitments from January 2020 to March 2021 shows that Japan and Canada are the only G7 countries that support clean energy ahead of fossil fuels

in May, G7 countries vowed to stop all new financing for overseas coal projects By the end of this year, and “speed up efforts” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to the pre-industrial era.

However, Tearfund’s research found that most of the recovery expenditures to date are inconsistent with plans to adopt cleaner energy sources.

In another report released on Wednesday, the International Energy Agency stated that the number of approvals for coal-fired power plants in 2020 has increased, driven by projects in China and other Asian countries.

The IEA added that investment in the upstream oil and gas industry is expected to increase by about 8% this year, but still below the pre-crisis level.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of IEA, said: “Governments not only need to make commitments to reduce emissions, they also need to take concrete steps to accelerate investment in market-ready clean energy solutions and promote early technological development. Innovation.”

According to a Tearfund report, since January 2020, the governments of Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa as guests of the G7 summit have all supported the expansion of coal production in terms of fiscal or policy measures.

The researchers recommend that the G7 adopt the “do no harm” principle for all expenditures, which should include attaching “green conditions” to any support for fossil fuel-intensive industries and stop using public funds to produce coal, oil and gas.

According to the report, the G7 should also use its influence to urge development banks to align their activities with limiting global warming to 1.5C.

“Every penny is important,” Gore said. Spending on dirty energy today is “carrying fossil fuels into the future.”

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