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Greening the post-Covid recovery

Inquiry

In May the Committee held a session on the environmental implications of the Covid-19 crisis. Witnesses stressed how critical it would be to align the post-crisis recovery stimulus with the UK’s goals on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development – given the short window of opportunity remaining to keep global temperature rises to a manageable level. The Committee has since agreed to launch an inquiry looking at how to align any post-pandemic economic stimulus package with the UK’s climate and environment goals.

Economic impact and policy response

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a global macroeconomic shock unprecedented in peacetime. UK Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 10.4% in the three months from February to April – with monthly output collapsing by 20.4% in April after the lockdown was introduced. As the UK emerges from the initial public health crisis, the economic challenges may intensify as the Government tapers its employee and business support packages.

In Oct 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that time is running out to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C. In this context, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010-2016, explained to the Committee how critical it is that climate change mitigation is at the heart of the post-COVID recovery:

"Those rescue packages, US$10 trillion to US$20 trillion, will not only be defined but very likely allotted over the next 18 months. Because of the scale, they will determine the characteristics of national economies and of the global economy for several decades. It is exactly this decade, between 2020 and 2030, where climate science has been lucidly clear that we need to halve our emissions, reduce to 50% the emissions that we have right now."

The Committee also heard from Professor Cameron Hepburn, Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme at the Oxford Martin School, about the potential for green investment to boost the economy, providing more jobs; delivering higher short-term returns per pound spent by Government, and leading to increased long-term cost savings.

Global leadership

In 2021 the UK will be hosting COP26 and will also hold the G7 Presidency. This provides a platform for the UK to take an international leadership role and galvanise a green and climate-friendly global response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

The Committee’s inquiry will consider how the post-pandemic recovery can be aligned with the UK’s climate and environment goals and the role that the UK can play in driving a green recovery internationally.

For further details read the inquiry's Terms of Reference.

Work news

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Government accepts EAC recommendation for National Infrastructure Bank to be permanent with possible future focus on nature recovery
Environmental Audit Committee publishes the Government and Bank of England responses to its report: Growing back better: putting nature and net zero at the heart of the economic recovery’
22 June 2021
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Chair comments on green measures within the Chancellor’s Budget
Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP comments on Budget 2021 and green measures
3 March 2021
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EAC calls for climate and nature investment to be prioritised in the economic recovery
Environmental Audit Committee calls for climate and nature investment to be prioritised in the economic recovery
17 February 2021
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Bank of England stimulus should align with Paris Agreement
The Bank of England risks creating a ‘moral hazard’ by purchasing high-carbon bonds and providing no-strings financing to carbon intensive companies.
25 January 2021
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EAC to scrutinise ambitions outlined in Spending Review and National Infrastructure Strategy
The Environmental Audit Committee will hold its third and final evidence session as part of the Greening the post-covid recovery inquiry.
30 November 2020
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Bank of England and big businesses questioned on Greening the post-COVID recovery
Environmental Audit Committee explores what scope there is for sustainability conditions to be attached to bailouts provided by the Bank of England
22 September 2020
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Business Secretary questioned on COP26, Greening the Covid recovery and Net-Zero
Environmental Audit Committee examines a number of existing and future opportunities for Net Zero Britain
7 September 2020
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Green NGOs and business groups questioned on Greening the Post-Covid Recovery
Environmental Audit Committee examines the reaction to the Government's announcements so far
16 July 2020
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Committee Chairs set out opportunities of green economic recovery to Chancellor and stress recovery must accelerate move to net zero to avert climate crisis
Committee Chairs set out opportunities of green economic recovery to Chancellor and stress recovery must accelerate move to net zero to avert climate crisis
29 June 2020
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Impact of coronavirus on the environment to be explored by MPs
Impact of coronavirus on the environment to be explored by MPs
21 May 2020
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MPs to examine impact of coronavirus on progress towards environment goals
MPs to examine impact of coronavirus on progress towards environment goals
12 May 2020
Total results 11 (page 1 of 1)

Contact us

  • Email: eacom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: (General Enquiries) 020 7219 8890 / (Media Enquiries) 020 7219 1034