Coronavirus: Economic rescue must prioritise climate change, say experts

Stimulus packages intended to put the world’s economy back on track during the coronavirus crisis should focus on cutting carbon emissions, according to the heads of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and International Energy Agency.

Talking to Reuters, CCC chief executive Chris Stark said that it is almost certain that global CO2 emissions will reduce this year, as much of the global economy has shut down in response to the pandemic disease. But he warned: “I wouldn’t take any false security from that.”

“The question is what happens after. We locked in higher global CO2 emissions after the last global financial crisis,” he said.

Governments across the world are pouring money into their economies in a way not seen since the outbreak of the Second World War. On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures including £7bn for the welfare state, a £60bn tax deferment and that the government would pay 80% of the wages of workers furloughed during the lockdown.

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