While millions are hoping for a sustainable recovery, governments are allocating funds to bail out dirty industries.

The world struggles as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect a growing number of people in 188 countries. As the health and human toll continues to grow, the world is experiencing the largest economic shock in decades. Econonomists forecast that global economic growth will drop around 3.0% to 2.4%. The spread of the pandemic has left businesses around the world, counting costs. Millions of people have lost their jobs and many workers are furloughed. The UN, the IMF and the IEA have all urged countries to build back a more just and sustainable economy.

However, a recent review by UK consultancy, Vivid Economics shows that the major economies are failing to cushion the pandemic’s health and economic consequences, protect workers and vulnerable communities and set a pathway for just and sustainable recovery.

Vivid Economics regularly analyses COVID-19 stimulus packages through 2020, assessing levels of support across 17 major economies for fossil fuels, renewables and bailout conditions for dirty industry. Their recent update, published on 23rd July 2020, presents that countries announced stimulus packages to pump trillions directly into dirty sectors and to bail out fossil fuel companies.

Mateo Salazar, a senior economist from Vivid Economics, says Across 17 major economies, announced stimulus packages would pump trillions of dollars directly into sectors that have a large and lasting negative impact on nature. These flows present an opportunity to support these sectors through the current COVID-19 crisis, while also increasing their sustainability and resilience in the face of the parallel climate and biodiversity crises.

So far, The EU, South Korea, France, Germany and the UK are among countries that have responded with a slew of green measures, finds Vivid, with Brussels’ Next Generation EU recovery package likely the most environmentally friendly stimulus package to date.

However, the US, Russia, Mexico and South Africa have not delivered or announced any positive action for green and sustainable recovery. At the same time, support for China and Indonesia’s vast extractive sectors outweighs positive measures from Beijing and Jakarta.

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