We got a sneak preview this week of heavyweight analysis on how green – or otherwise – coronavirus bailout packages are in G20 countries.
It’s not looking good. Overall, governments are throwing more money at fossil fuels than clean energy. That is the case in the US, Russia, Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea and Turkey.
India, Japan, Germany, the UK and Brazil swing the other way. Large-scale support for rail tipped China into the green camp.
This week’s stories…
- Big nations aid fossil fuels more than clean energies amid pandemic, researchers find
- Jamaica becomes first Caribbean nation to submit tougher climate plan to UN
- Norway sets electric car record as battery autos least dented by Covid-19 crisis
- Airlines’ climate obligations postponed as UN body endorses industry proposal
- Ireland to set annual emissions goals to reach 2050 carbon neutrality
…and climate conversations
- EU must not sacrifice the Amazon rainforest on the altar of trade with Brazil – Nicole Polsterer, Fern
- We need to talk about racism in the climate movement – Tonny Nowshin
I see you, Icao
The council of the UN aviation body has agreed to rewrite the rules on carbon offsetting until at least 2023, citing the pandemic-induced collapse in air traffic.
The industry’s impact assessment suggested the baseline change would save airlines $15 billion – money that would otherwise have been invested in carbon-cutting projects.
Astonishingly, the International Civil Aviation Organization claimed this as a win for the environment. Its communications officer will fight anyone on Twitter who says Icao is secretive or doesn’t do enough on climate change.
Setting the pace
Ireland has formed a coalition government with a climate plan that notably leaves little wiggle room for delay.
They will introduce a climate law to cut emissions 7% a year this decade, on the path to net zero by 2050.
That means scrapping a planned LNG import terminal and going big on offshore wind power.
No, she did it of her own accord!*
The first Caribbean country has submitted an upgraded climate plan to the UN. It’s not the most ambitious plan you’ll find in absolute terms, but Jamaica, a small island developing state, wins points for finding capacity to meet the 2020 deadline amid a global pandemic.
It’s a timeline Cop26 hosts the UK, which praised the submission, has not committed to.
Electric cars – not including hybrids – made up nearly half of car sales in Norway the first half of this year, a new record despite the economic downturn.
It gives further evidence for analysis showing clean automakers are more resilient to the crisis than petrol and diesel counterparts globally.
However this is still highly policy-dependent and the picture is less rosy in the US, Japan and South Korea.
*I won’t give up the day job.