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Coronavirus recovery plan ‘must tackle climate change’-BBC

April 26, 2020

By Paul Homewood


This is something we are going to hear a lot more of in coming months, the idea that any economic recovery plan should be centred around the Green New Deal agenda:




Tackling climate change must be woven into the solution to the Covid-19 economic crisis, the UK will tell governments next week.

Environment ministers from 30 countries are meeting in a two-day online conference in a bid to make progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The gathering is called the "Petersberg Climate Dialogue".

It will focus on how to organise a "green" economic recovery after the acute phase of the pandemic is over.

The other aim is to forge international agreement on ambitious carbon cuts despite the postponement of the key conference COP26 – previously scheduled for Glasgow in November (now without a date).

Alok Sharma, the UK Climate Secretary and president of COP26, said: "I am committed to increasing global climate ambition so that we deliver on the Paris Agreement (to stabilise temperature rise well below 2C).

"The world must work together, as it has to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, to support a green and resilient recovery, which leaves no one behind.

"At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, we will come together to discuss how we can turn ambition into real action."….

The EU is already set on delivering a green stimulus. The Commission’s Green Deal chief, Frans Timmermans, said every euro spent on economic recovery measures after the COVID-19 crisis would be linked to the green and digital transitions.

"The European Green Deal is a growth strategy and a winning strategy," he tweeted.

"It’s not a luxury we drop when we hit another crisis. It is essential for Europe’s future.

Meanwhile, China appears set on its current carbon-intensive development path, and President Trump says the US will rescue struggling fossil fuel firms.

Even in Europe there’s a degree of push-back against the idea of a green stimulus .

Markus Pieper, an MEP from the centre-right German CDU party, told the magazine FOCUS that the EU’s sweeping plan for investment in clean technologies would no longer be possible.

He said: "The Green Deal was a gigantic challenge for an economy in top shape. After the corona bloodletting, it is simply not financially viable."

But the UK climate economist Lord Stern told BBC News: "The immediate priority is the current Covid crisis – but then we have to build for the future.

"Timmermans is right and Trump is wrong. We should only be bailing out firms that are going to contribute to tackling climate change.

"They don’t have be be ostensibly clean tech firms at the moment – but they do have to be committed to cutting their emissions in line with international targets."


It is based on a classic piece of misconception. If we can afford to spend hundreds of billions now bailing out the economy, why can’t we do the same every year in future to save the planet?

The answer should really be obvious. The reality is that we cannot even really afford the current package, never mind one every year.


In the best case scenario, there will be a V shaped recovery, with the economy quickly returning to previous levels of activity once the coronavirus has been sorted.

It is much more likely though that recovery will be much slower, particularly if solutions take longer to arrive. The risk is that many companies will go under, jobs will be lost, and companies which survive will be loaded down with debt and unable to finance new investment and expansion.

Meanwhile stagnant incomes will depress consumer spending.

Under this scenario, could a Green New Deal help to engineer economic growth?

Well, let’s look at some of the proposals made by its proponents, for instance more renewable energy such as offshore wind farms.

These may create some extra jobs, but to what end? They do not add any economic value, as they simply duplicate something we already have, ie power generation. Worse still, they do so in an inefficient way.

We can say the same thing about spending billions on insulating houses and installing low carbon heating systems, another favourite of Green New Deal proponents. Both this and renewable energy investment do no more than create make-work jobs, that have less immediate financial benefit to the economy than the jobs cost to support. You might just as well pay people to go around painting everybody’s houses green.

The inconvenient reality is that somebody has to pay the bill for these new jobs, whether through taxation or higher energy bills.


Then, of course, there is the obsession with electric cars. Emission reduction mandates and threats to ban conventional cars are already causing much damage to the European car industry, with German manufacturers in particular cutting back jobs as a result. Doubling down on the green agenda will weaken the industry further still.

Similarly other industries, already hammered by high energy prices, will be badly hit by plans to impose carbon storage, reduce emissions, raise carbon taxes and push up energy prices even further.

At the end of the day, COVID-19 is a global problem, along with the economic crisis it has brought with it. Europe cannot hide away and insulate itself behind its own green agenda.

If it does, its economies will pay the price.

  1. richardw permalink
    April 26, 2020 11:56 am

    Alok Sharma might as well have said: “The world must work together, as it has to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, to introduce la-la land, which leaves no one behind.

    “At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, we will come together to discuss how we can turn ambition into real action.”….

    I despair that our conservative politicians are so naive, and now seemingly addicted to measures that embed restrictions on liberty and enterprise. It is the evolutionary process driven by these factors that generates prosperity.

    • Steve permalink
      April 27, 2020 12:04 pm

      Alok Sharma is the twerp who managed to chair the Covid disaster presentation last week without answering a single question. All he did was to pay tribute to the staff and tell everyone to stay at home and save the NHS. He will do the same with the Green Deal plan. That’s why they picked him. The best no-answering BS goon with presentation skills.

  2. April 26, 2020 12:06 pm

    That is another portmanteau phrase I simply cannot abide: “Tackling”climate change…. along with “Combating” climate change. They both indicate misinformed and ignorant claims of hubris that mankind can govern global temperatures. It’s time that these liars, these charlatans, these power-grabbers, were completely and totally squashed.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 26, 2020 1:29 pm

      Totally agree, Luc. If you asked anyone if it was possible to control the weather, they would laugh at you, but if you asked them if it was possible to control the climate, they’d say, of course if is. So much have the public been brain-washed.

  3. April 26, 2020 12:13 pm

    “That is another portmanteau phrase I simply cannot abide: “Tackling”climate change”
    Agreed. Could we not tackle it by kicking it into touch?!

    • April 26, 2020 6:31 pm

      They still believe, or pretend to, that piddling around with carbon dioxide molecules will alter the weather. But this is pathetic nonsense.

  4. April 26, 2020 12:18 pm

    It illustrates the left’s paradigm: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

    However, they might find themselves on the horns of a dilemma (reportedly a small African animal 🙂 ) as it is being shown that the coronavirus is wiped out by heat, humidity and sunlight. Actually staying inside in dry heat or cold is positive for the virus. Hmmmmm.

    • April 26, 2020 1:29 pm

      Which is why in LA you can go to “cooling centers” in the heat, but not the beach. A clever way to kill more people that are willing to behave as sheep.

    • dennisambler permalink
      April 26, 2020 6:00 pm

      April 2019

      “The NHS have explained that there is a strong connection between green space and good mental and physical health. Whether it’s a local woodland area, park or by simply getting fresh air close to where patients live, doctors are encouraging people to make the most of the outdoor space around them.”

      • April 27, 2020 12:05 pm

        I am fortunate to have inherited the 5-acre property where I grew up in Morgantown, WV, just off the main road through town. The University is almost on my doorstep, but I have my oasis.

        It was an old farm when my parents bought the piece with the house and barn in 1937 and moved in with my 2 older brothers. Over the years daddy planted trees, but left 2 large fields. We also brought in a number of native plants, especially the spring wildflowers. I became the botanist.

        The West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage, scheduled for May 7-9 was cancelled. It would have been my 39th year as a botanical leader for 2 tours. A virtual Wildflower Pilgrimage was created on the Pilgrimage FB page and we have been posting our photos. The Pilgrimage attracts around 400 participants from 14 states, so we are seeing a variety of spring flowers. I have posted a great number and all are from my property. I have also mowed the place 3 times with the early spring, cooler weather, and extended spring. That gives me more than 5 hours of fresh air every time.

      • April 27, 2020 7:12 pm

        @ Joan

        I don’t have facebook so can’t see this, or else would have a look. I would find it interesting to see how many of your plants, if any, I recognise. Probably most of the families are the same as in the UK (and we have some naturalised species from over your side of the pond), but I doubt I could name many past the genus level.

  5. Mike Jackson permalink
    April 26, 2020 12:19 pm

    Perhaps Stern would care to remind us who pays his wages!

    • April 26, 2020 1:30 pm

      Doesn’t matter. He’s getting paid, has a job and is not sitting in his little house jail like most of those throughout Europe and America. So he gets paid and stays employed. No matter what.

    • dennisambler permalink
      April 26, 2020 5:57 pm

      Stern has done very nicely out of the whole shebang, since the 2006 Stern Review which he fronted. It was based on Hadley models: “The report on the Economics of Climate Change published by Sir Nicholas Stern published in November 2006 relied heavily on the quantified probabilistic estimates of future climate change carried out in the Met Office Hadley Centre.

      Sir Nicholas’s team used these results to feed into their economics models to produce a quantified risk based assessment of the costs of mitigation, impacts and adaptation in both the developed and developing world.” (DEFRA website).

      Since then he has been heavily involved in consultancy work on carbon trading, including with major banks like HSBC. He was, until 2013 an adviser to a carbon trade advisory group called the Carbon Ratings Agency, an offshoot of another company called IdeaCarbon, which he co-founded with other ex-World Bank apparatchiks.

      One of his colleagues was no less a person than Christiana Figueres, leading the UN charge in Paris, who prior to her UNFCC job, had a long and profitable career in the carbon trading business, including the Winrock Foundation, a carbon offset arm of the multi-billionaire Rockefeller family’s Foundation.

      “Design of the Climate Regime”

      Stern was also a member of Ban Ki Moon’s High Level Panel on Climate Finance in 2010, after Copenhagen, along with George Soros, Chris Huhne, Christine Lagarde and others, which sought to start the $100 billiion a year Green Climate Fund.

      He is currently an “International Advisor” to the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute

      I’m surprised he didn’t feature in the Michael Moore film.

      • April 27, 2020 11:52 am

        “Since then he has been heavily involved in consultancy work on carbon trading …. He is currently an “International Advisor” to the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute”

        The Moore film is limited to solar, wind, biofuels, and biomass. It does not address carbon capture and storage. There are good analyses showing that carbon capture and storage is not feasible. And also my analysis showing that carbon trading without a legal authority to regulate the market is not feasible. Pls see

  6. Broadlands permalink
    April 26, 2020 1:08 pm

    “Environment ministers from 30 countries are meeting in a two-day online conference in a bid to make progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Have they not noticed that the corona virus is making us do exactly that…with devastating social and economic results on top of the health issues? After the pandemic is over, If they continue to demand we keep lowering emissions in transportation, do they expect a different result? Net-zero in common sense.

  7. 2hmp permalink
    April 26, 2020 1:32 pm

    Right from the very start the Government said that their actions with Covid19 would be governed by the science. Now let them quote the same mantra for Carbon Dioxide.

  8. April 26, 2020 1:34 pm

    The communists gave this to the world and I have no doubt they will push the New Green (Communist) Deal as far as they can. Based on the response to house arrest and complete slavish behavior to undeclared martial law, I’m betting your grandkids are going to be living in hell, while the world is awash in oil and had prosperity until good little sheep stood in a corner and died because they refused to backup and get out of the corner. The world gave away all its freedom to the Communists and all it took was a virus and mass stupidity.

  9. Martin Howard Keith Brumby permalink
    April 26, 2020 1:45 pm

    Go on.
    I’ll ask.
    What “Petersberg”?

    So far as I can see, it could be:-
    “Hotel Petersberg is a hotel and official guest house of the Federal Republic of Germany, termed the “Bundesgästehaus” (the official title being Gästehaus der Verfassungsorgane der Bundesrepublik Deutschland). It is located on the Petersberg, a prominent mountain of the Siebengebirge near Bonn, Germany. ” (Wiki).

    So why would “two-day online conference” be named after a five star hotel?

    Or maybe it is named after Saint Petersberg (but dropping the ‘Saint’ to avoid offenfing the “Religion of Peace”?
    And sponsored by Gazprom. “PJSC Gazprom is a multinational energy corporation headquartered in the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg, Russia.” (Online puff piece).

    Either way, this farcical idea needs nipping in the bud NOW.

  10. Richard permalink
    April 26, 2020 2:10 pm

    “In 2019, a WHO study found „little to no scientific evidence“ for the effectiveness of measures such as „social distancing“, travel restrictions and lockdowns. (Original study)”

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 27, 2020 8:46 am

      Do you have the source for that? Not that I trust the WHO, but the main evidence for social distancing seems to come from studies decades later of the Spanish flu in US cities.

  11. Jonathan Scott permalink
    April 26, 2020 2:16 pm

    They are desperate to keep their scam on the agenda. The reason? MONEY and power!

  12. Gamecock permalink
    April 26, 2020 2:36 pm

    “Coronavirus recovery plan must explain gravity.”

    Fixed it.

  13. CheshireRed permalink
    April 26, 2020 3:43 pm

    The Green movement is terrified currently proposed Green Deals will be shelved, hence yet another selfish PR campaign.

    Pauls comment about Green Deals adding no value because all they do is duplicate what we already have (as against a new invention that creates a new marketplace, eg mobile phones, tablets etc) is spot-on and sums up the problem with Green Deals that any rational-thinking person can see.

    However it appears our politico’s are not very rational.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 27, 2020 8:51 am

      I hope that once the utter carnage needlessly done to our economy becomes clear, this nonsense will take a back seat. Once we are let free, the 10% or higher unemployment won’t go away quickly, and the hugely increased welfare costs wont let Boris spend as much as he wanted. Then the media will turn 180° and blame him for destroying the economy.

      If he wants to win in four years time, he won’t be able to afford thus lunacy.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        April 27, 2020 10:25 am

        I will be very surprised if Johnson is there in 4 years time if there is any form of honest inquiry into the fiasco of his handling of the virus. Even some of his supporters wonder why he didn’t bother to attend COBRA meetings until the beginning of March. Was it his flawed belief that the flu epidemic plan would work for a SARS pandemic? Now his problem is the National Homicide Service – applauded by many every Thursday but killing hundreds every week and the main repository of the virus.

  14. Curious George permalink
    April 26, 2020 3:48 pm

    Environment ministers .. will focus on how to organise a “green” economic recovery after the acute phase of the pandemic is over. Environment ministers have always been so good on economic problems.

    In an environmentalist’s footprints no grass grows for seven years.

  15. Jason permalink
    April 26, 2020 3:59 pm

    They don’t even need the climate scam any more. That was a Trabant compared with the Ferrari they’ve got now.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 26, 2020 6:48 pm

      Interesting comparison, Jason: Trabant v Ferrari.
      As the Greens (includes XR) in our society want a communist-style society to take control and bring about their Utopian climate solution, they might want to think about the fact that it was the East German totalitarian state that ‘allowed’ its people to own (eventually) a Trabant, while the capitalist West allowed people the freedom to own Ferraris, if they could afford them. But they weren’t rationed by the state.

      • April 27, 2020 6:15 pm

        The Trabant was worse for pullution. Diabolically smelly, noisy 2-stroke engine.

  16. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 26, 2020 4:35 pm

    The lying BBC has never mentioned that UK emits 1.2% of global CO2. Add Germany and it’s 3.4%. Nothing we do will make the slightest difference to 2100 temperature. See BP’s energy study for 2019 page 59. So we ruin ourselves virtue signalling to nations who couldn’t give a toss

  17. Is it just me? permalink
    April 26, 2020 4:38 pm

    One only needs to have a good look through the World Economic Forum site ( to know what is coming. Look at who is involved? Look at all the linkage that is being hooked up to take control of climate, technology, regulation, social engineering, the law, the media.. the lot – from A to Z, and soup to nuts. Very soon – you won’t be able to chuff one out alone in the wastelands of Siberia without someone has all the data stored about what you last ate for your fart to smell the way it does before you can walk away from the stink. Seriously – Orwell has well and truly landed!

  18. Douglas Brodie permalink
    April 26, 2020 4:55 pm

    The coronavirus crisis will show precisely why efforts to “tackle climate change” are futile and should be abandoned. Expect global emissions to dip due to reduced global economic activity (a projected 30% hit here in the UK) but atmospheric CO2 levels to continue to rise (taking account of the seasonal variation) as they have done so far through the March Mauna Loa reading. This will prove that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to the natural rise in global temperatures which has occurred since the Little Ice Age ended. In other words, atmospheric CO2 lags global temperatures as sceptics have been saying for decades, not the other way around. Joe Bastardi explains it here:

    The point will also be made by the pain of the projected coronavirus economic hit which will still be nothing like the hit which would result from “net zero emissions” aka Green New Deal.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 26, 2020 6:38 pm

      Well, of course, what we need the Greens to tell us – considering they think they know cause and effect – is, what is the reaction time of the climate to lower CO². How soon will we see a change in climate if the global CO² is reduced? How many years? Centuries? Who will notice?
      Answer comes there none. Man cannot control the weather – or the climate.

  19. Phil O'Sophical permalink
    April 26, 2020 6:39 pm

    The Green Climate Fund of the United Nations:

    “While COVID-19 is causing untold suffering, the international response to this unprecedented health crisis in modern times offers an opportunity to direct finances towards bolstering climate action. GCF will continue to make critical investments in climate-resilient water resource management, health care facilities, agriculture and livelihoods – all of which are essential to subduing and overcoming the pandemic. Similarly, we will step up our efforts to catalyse green investment to relaunch economies on low-emission, climate-resilient trajectories.”

    “…to relaunch economies on low-emission, climate-resilient trajectories.”
    This has been the game plan all along: Using an over-hyped threat (Covid-19) to force a solution based on fraudulent science (CO2 as significant greenhouse gas) to a problem that does not exist (runaway warming), and would be manageable even if it did exist.

  20. Devoncamel permalink
    April 26, 2020 6:57 pm

    Are these fools not content with covid-19 closing down the world economy? Why not serve up more climate drivel and have another go? I hope forlornly for somebody of sufficient political clout to call out this utter nonsense.

    • StephenP permalink
      April 27, 2020 7:34 am

      Yes, they are taking the Covid19 current economic turndown and making it permanent with climate change action.

  21. saparonia permalink
    April 26, 2020 6:57 pm

    CO2 can’t be accurately measured due to it being such a tiny part of the atmosphere. Hell is about to freeze over anyway due to the Super Grand Solar Minimum and we Brits will all be able to give each other a pat on the back, saying how wonderfully well we did to bring global temperatures down.This will be due, in part, to not heating our homes or cooking, as the post flu-panic world economy collapses.

  22. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 26, 2020 9:06 pm

    Has anyone actually ever done an honest audit on this nonsense, it simply doesn’t pass the sniff test?

    All the building space and mining and manufacturing and chemicals and inefficient use of energy and use of plastics (i.e. fossil fuels), repeated every few square miles to avoid more than very local distribution……

    There is no way on earth they can believe this is ‘fixing’ the world, unless they are using the blind one-sided accounting fraud they use for everything else supposedly ‘green’.

    Nature already provides free light from the sun and growing medium in the soil. They’re surely just replacing the ‘bad’ distribution of food with transporting/using other stuff/resources.

  23. April 27, 2020 6:22 am

    “Tackling climate change must be woven into the solution to the Covid-19 economic crisis, the UK will tell governments next week”

    How are we going to do that? Renewables?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      April 27, 2020 7:33 am

      UK is now into the 5th day of near ZERO wind energy (briefly made ~2.5GW yesterday).

      If we needed a reliable 10-15GW from wind, how much would the batteries cost to store 5 day’s worth, and how much space/materials would they need (rhetorical!).

      How long could the UK be becalmed by stagnant anticyclonic conditions? Well with weather there is no limit, but certainly 6 weeks+ has a reasonable probability.

      • StephenP permalink
        April 27, 2020 8:03 am

        Even if we had the batteries, how long would it take to recharge the batteries via windmills?
        IIRC it has been stated that batteries are only viable for grid stabilisation to give the gas fired generators to fire up.
        If we wished to provide enough storage for five days worth of electricity we would need batteries the size of all the cathedrals In the country, with the concomitant fire risk and cost, as well as the above mentioned recharging problems.

      • April 27, 2020 11:26 am

        The battery capacity of the world is estimated at 0.1% of energy consumption.

  24. Gerry, England permalink
    April 27, 2020 10:31 am

    The interesting point about renewable energy is not just that with calm conditions there is no wind power but that with demand depressed to abnormally low levels, unreliable generation will make up a very large percentage of the generation at times leaving the grid very vulnerable to collapse. If they have learnt the lesson from last year, then we will see a big hike in payments to shut off wind generation to keep up the inertia element. And you know who will be paying the costs of that.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      April 27, 2020 11:54 am


      This is why in South Australia the regulatory authorities limit the amount of wind generation.
      The equation is simple Demand minus amount necessary to stabilise the grid, minus that coming from household PV solar = maximum amount from wind that can be used in SA.
      Fortunately there are interconnectors to Victoria so an extra amount can be sent there (sometimes). The net effect is that the Capacity Factor for wind farms in SA has dropped from 30-31% to 27% as wind farms are shut down when generating at a high level.
      This effects their profitability as they don’t (as far as I know) get paid for not generating.**

      No, they won’t learn until there is a grid collapse (as occurred in SA).

      **Was it Catch 22 in which a ‘farmer’ was paid to NOT GROW corn, and proceeded to NOT GROW more and more in return for government payments?

      • Dave Ward permalink
        April 27, 2020 2:28 pm

        “No, they won’t learn until there is a grid collapse”

        That might be the only way we will ever see lockdown ended in the UK!

  25. Eoin Mc permalink
    April 27, 2020 11:20 am

    With the effective decimation of most of the economic gains of the post World War Two era, from the effects of both the financial crash of 2008 and Covid-19, it is scarcely believable that the largely-liberal eco-sympathetic media have yet to wake up and demand of the European Green party machine that they indefinitely suspend any idea of valuable resources being used in anything other than a business-as-usual, carbon intensive economic recovery. Even with further trillions of quantitative easing having to be printed in the First World, to merely get back to where we were in 2019 in the long distant future, the Irish Green party are demanding – as part of their agreeing to enter a multi party coalition government, as a minority member – that there are irreversible emissions cuts of seven per cent per annum for the next ten years.

  26. tom0mason permalink
    April 27, 2020 9:48 pm

    I repeat …

    For the BBC it’s ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’.
    As is normal with them nothing broadcast but opinionated nonsense and propaganda from the purveyors far left politicization.

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