Following on from February’s #CountdowntoCOP conference with Michael Gove and Nicola Sturgeon, as featured here in a previous blog, Green Alliance today hosted an hour-long webinar with Chris Stark (Chief Executive for the Committee on Climate Change, CCC), Camilla Born (Deputy Strategy Director, COP26 unit, Cabinet Office) and Dr Thomas Hale (Associate Professor of Global Public Policy at the University of Oxford).
Libby Peck (Green Alliance) and Chris Stark (CCC)
"Nothing has changed but everything has changed", suggested Chris Stark from his new office, otherwise known as his bedroom. This was a common theme from all three panellists. 'Nothing has changed' in respect to the looming impact of climate change and our need to significantly reduce emissions. 'Everything has changed' reflects the huge impact of coronavirus including social distancing leading to the cancellation of COP26 and the fact that today's session was actually online and from people's homes.
Key points I took from the session include:
- Three billion people around the world are currently in some form of lockdown
- A 'green' inclusive resilient recovery is now more important than ever
- There is a hope that Governments around the world may take more notice of expert advice, specifically when it comes to dealing with the climate emergency
- However, there is a concern that some authoritarian Governments, particularly those who do not believe in climate change, could take advantage of the crisis to tighten their control
- Any Government bailouts should include a requirement for companies to address their carbon emissions - a fossil fuel tax was also mooted
- The role of Treasury and the Financing sector is crucial - for example, the six percent return on renewables investment is increasingly attractive, particularly due to the current oil crisis
Camilla Born (COP26 unit), Dr Thomas Hale (University of Oxford) and Chris Venables (Green Alliance)
Summing up, Chris, Camilla and Thomas were asked for their call to action: we need to maintain the ambition, use the net zero message to drive a multilateral approach and build back better.
You can now catch the podcast for this webinar on Green Alliance's website. Enjoy!