G20 stimulus plans favouring fossil fuels

(China Dialogue, 23 Nov 2020) A ‘remarkable departure’ from long-term rises in energy-related emissions is being undermined by government responses to the pandemic, a new assessment has found.

Last year was the first in which climate policies, rather than shocks like the 2007-09 financial crisis, caused energy-related CO2 emissions to fall in G20 countries. Emissions fell by 0.1%, compared with a 1.9% growth in 2018 and the longer-term annual average growth rate of 1.4% between 2005 and 2017.

However, governments’ Covid-19 recovery responses risk reversing, instead of locking in, these positive trends. At least 19 of the G20 countries have provided financial support to their domestic fossil fuel sectors, 14 countries bailed out their national airlines without attaching climate conditions, while seven provided unconditional support to the automobile industry.

These were the key findings of this year’s Climate Transparency report, an assessment of G20 countries’ performance on tackling climate change by a collaboration of think-tanks and campaign organisations.

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China Dialogue, 23 Nov 2020: G20 stimulus plans favouring fossil fuels