In Nigeria, the pandemic-driven oil crash has given the government cover to scrap an expensive and inequitable petrol subsidy.
That is the kind of fiscal policy change the International Monetary Fund is urging governments to make, as it prepares to deploy its $1 trillion lending power on coronavirus rescue packages.
Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian who took over leadership of the IMF last year, made the case for a green recovery on the sidelines of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue and on social media.
It is not yet clear whether the IMF will impose green conditions on bailouts or simply offer guidance.
This week’s stories…
- Renewables most resilient to Covid-19 lockdown measures, says IEA
- IMF chief: $1 trillion post-coronavirus stimulus must tackle climate crisis
- Merkel: don’t neglect climate finance to the world’s poor
- German environment minister defends airline bailout, promises green recovery
- France calls for minimum carbon price to counter oil crash
…and climate conversations
Rescue vs recovery
It may depend on the nature of the relief.
In Germany, environment minister Svenja Schulze defended a no-strings-attached €10 billion bailout to airline Lufthansa even as she promoted a green recovery.
The short term priority was to protect jobs, she argued. Investing in green industries was a matter for the post-crisis rebuilding of the economy.
A trillion sounds big. It is big. But emergency loans are no substitute for the climate finance rich countries have promised poorer ones.
German chancellor Angela Merkel reminded leaders not to neglect climate finance amid all the new demands on their budgets.
While the coronavirus lockdown is hitting all energy sectors, only renewables will continue to grow through 2020, the International Energy Agency forecasts.
As oil demand for transport nosedives and coal power use slumps, wind and solar generators benefit from priority grid access and no fuel supply chain to worry about.
Growth will be slower than previously forecast, though, as new installations are down.
Whither, carbon price
France is calling for a minimum carbon price on the EU market to counter the impact of plummeting oil demand.