UN development chief calls for green shift away from ‘irrational’ oil dependence

(Climate Change News, 28 Apr 2020) Post-coronavirus stimulus packages must shift the economy away from its “irrational” oil dependence to a greener future, according to the UN development chief.

Achim Steiner, head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said the pandemic would transform societies. It would be impossible simply to reactivate the pre-Covid-19 global economy in the way that billion-dollar bailouts helped revive growth after the 2008 financial crisis.

“It’s a kind of a fork in the road for every country,” he told Climate Home News in a video interview from New York, adding that developing nations were especially vulnerable. “You have an opportunity to either invest in returning to yesterday’s economy or to invest into tomorrow’s economy.”

The coronavirus has killed more than 190,000 people worldwide.

Steiner said that the plunge in benchmark US oil prices to lows of around minus $40 a barrel on Monday – meaning producers and traders paying to get rid of it – highlighted a need to break dependence on fossil fuels and move to greener energies such as solar and wind power.

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Climate Change News, 28 Apr 2020: UN development chief calls for green shift away from ‘irrational’ oil dependence