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Green stimulus demands political leadership

A global green recovery is still a distant ambition, but leadership across sectors is slowly coming together.

Helen Avery ESG 1920px.jpg

“The Greenness of Stimulus Index (GSI) shows that stimulus to date will have a net negative environmental impact in 16 of the G20 countries and economies.”

Among the many announcements and rallying speeches given this week during the City of London’s Green Horizon Summit, it was this statistic that stuck with me. For all the rhetoric of ‘build back better’, our global recovery at present is far from green.

The GSI is the work of Vivid Economics, which has been tracking economic responses to Covid-19.

These stimulus packages could make or break our global climate ambitions

Its latest report shows that only France, the UK, Spain and Germany have environmentally net positive stimulus packages. These packages include criteria such as green strings attached to corporate bailouts, green research-and-development subsidies, or loans and grants specific to green investments or nature-based solutions.

The worst offenders on this front are Turkey, Saudi Arabia and China, which have introduced some green stimulus, but nowhere near enough to compensate for their negative environmental contributions.

Among developed countries, the US comes last.

For all the discussion of green finance, it is clear that only a handful of countries are committed to the climate agenda – whether for altruistic reasons or economic ones.


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