Whose Green Recovery? Why poorer countries must not be left behind by richer countries’ recovery plans (ACT Alliance)

Poor countries could turn to fossil fuels as ‘green recovery’ leaves them behind says new report.

A new report from development charity Christian Aid has warned that post-Covid stimulus packages are in danger of widening global inequality and pushing poorer countries to turn to fossil fuels which would threaten the success of the UK’s COP26 climate summit.

The report, Whose Green Recovery, analyses the various economic stimulus plans around the world. The report reveals that:

  • There is a dangerous lack of policies that will help developing countries, potentially wiping out climate gains in the Global North
  • More than half a trillion dollars going to carbon-intensive industries
  • Failure to add bailout conditions which would accelerate the zero carbon transition

Recovery plans deemed ‘green’ are almost entirely made up of domestic policies that do little to help poorer countries trying to recover from the economic fallout of Covid-19.

Despite rhetoric about the importance of a green recovery, more than half a trillion dollars worldwide are being given to carbon-intensive businesses with 70% more recovery aid going to fossil fuel producers and high carbon sectors such as airlines than green solutions.

COP26-host, the UK, has provided more than £5 billion to oil and gas, airlines and other transport sectors without being asked to make any commitments to a zero carbon transition, undermining their efforts to show global climate leadership.

The danger is that if left without support, poorer nations facing desperate challenges may be forced to use cheap coal to aid their recovery. This could see the climate gains of the green stimulus in the Global North wiped out, destabilise the Paris Agreement ahead of the crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow next year and leave the world on a perilous course towards global heating of more than 1.5C.

A truly global green recovery, featuring debt cancelation, fossil fuel subsidy removal, and greater investment in overseas renewables rather than fossil fuels is what is required.

Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance.

Download the full report here.

Read further report outlines on the ReliefWeb Website.