|The UK Govt “will tell other governments” this week that tackling climate change must be “woven into the solution to the Covid-19 economic crisis”, reports BBC News.
UK climate secretary and COP26 president Alok Sharma will attend the Petersberg Climate Dialogue (online) on 28 April with environment ministers from 30 countries, in a gathering that will “focus on how to organise a ‘green’ economic recovery after the acute phase of the pandemic is over”.
It adds: “The other aim is to forge international agreement on ambitious carbon cuts despite the postponement of the key conference COP26.” BBC News notes that the EU “is already set on delivering a green stimulus”.
Climate Home News reports that UN development chief Achim Steiner has called for post-coronavirus stimulus packages to shift the economy away from what he calls an “irrational” dependence on oil towards a greener future.
International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol on Friday urged governments to “put renewable energy at the heart of economic rescue packages launched in response to the coronavirus outbreak to avoid a rebound in carbon emissions”. A number of German companies have called for coronavirus-related state aid to be tied to climate action.
Meanwhile on a ”different planet (nothing new) The Trump administration is developing plans to aid the oil industry “despite opposition”, adding that Democrats have warned of “short-sighted” help for fossil fuels. France has repeated its support for a minimum floor price for the EU carbon market, in the wake of current low fossil fuel prices.
Axios reports that disruption due to coronavirus “could hinder plans for countries’ ambitious renewable energy goals”, though it quotes the Wall Street Journal noting that the stable and low-risk nature of renewable investments “could likely give them a financial boost”.
The current fall in oil prices “may no longer be a curse for renewable energy”. It explains: “Low oil prices are usually a curse for green energy, but this time might be different.” The piece continues: “What’s different this time is that the cost of renewables and natural gas has broken away from oil, weakening crude’s influence on the price of electricity. While the coronavirus has destroyed demand for oil and transport fuels, power use has dropped less sharply. And importantly, energy companies are now painfully aware of the mounting pressure from consumers – and investors – to clean up their output, rein in emissions and prepare for a future beyond oil.”
“Underpinning an economic recovery on measures based on clean energy with costs that are only getting cheaper, rather than those at risk of spiking both high and low, will allow investors to lock in certainty for years to come.”