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The world’s botched Covid-19 green recovery, in charts

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo
Airlines are a big part of the reason the post-pandemic economic recovery is a stimulus bonanza for fossil fuels.
  • Tim McDonnell
By Tim McDonnell

Climate reporter


With governments spending trillions of dollars to prop up the global economy, they could have grabbed the opportunity to accelerate the transition to clean energy. Countries could have prioritized stimulus funding for, say, energy efficient building retrofits over coal-fired power plants.

But so far, like after the 2008 financial crisis, recovery packages have significantly favored fossil fuels. Across the G20 countries, for every dollar of stimulus funding committed to clean energy, $1.50 goes to airlines, oil companies, and other fossil fuel-reliant industries, according to a new dataset of stimulus measures compiled by more than a dozen climate research outfits.

The analysis provides the most detailed picture yet of how far off-track the world is from a green recovery, by looking at the strings attached to individual funding streams. Unconditional fossil fuel funding has no strings; conditional means access to the funding is predicated on agreeing to new emissions targets.

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