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World Ignores Green Recovery–Prefers To Avoid Devastating Recession Instead

November 11, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier


The Guardian is spitting its dummy out because the rest of the world does not want to waste money on green crap!



The prospect of a global green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is hanging in the balance, as countries pour money into the fossil fuel economy to stave off a devastating recession, an analysis for the Guardian reveals.

Meanwhile, promises of a low-carbon boost are failing to materialise. Only a handful of major countries are pumping rescue funds into low-carbon efforts such as renewable power, electric vehicles and energy efficiency.

A new Guardian ranking finds the EU is a frontrunner, devoting 30% of its €750bn (£677bn) Next Generation Recovery Fund to green ends. France and Germany have earmarked about €30bn and €50bn respectively of their own additional stimulus for environmental spending.

On the other end of the scale, China is faring the worst of the major economies, with only 0.3% of its package – about £1.1bn – slated for green projects. In the US, before the election, only about $26bn (£19.8bn), or just over 1%, of the announced spending was green.

n at least 18 of the world’s biggest economies, more than six months on from the first wave of lockdowns in the early spring, pandemic rescue packages are dominated by spending that has a harmful environmental impact, such as bailouts for oil or new high-carbon infrastructure, outweighing the positive climate benefits of any green spending, according to the analysis.

Only four countries – France, Spain, the UK and Germany – and the EU have packages that will produce a net environmental benefit.

“The natural environment and climate change have not been a core part of the thinking in the bulk of recovery plans,” said Jason Eis, chief executive of Vivid Economics, which compiled the index for the Guardian. “In the majority of countries we are not seeing a green recovery coming through at all.”

Even countries that have boasted of green recovery plans are frequently spending much more on activities that will maintain or increase greenhouse gas emissions. South Korea set out plans for a green new deal in July, worth about $135bn. But its continued spending on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries means it ranks only eighth in the world for the greenness of its stimulus.

While countries fail to muster a green recovery, they are also falling behind on their obligations under the Paris climate agreement. The International Energy Agency has calculated, exclusively for the Guardian, that countries are planning emissions cuts that amount to only 15% of the reductions needed to fulfil the Paris agreement. The IEA has also found that China’s emissions, which dipped sharply in the initial phases of the pandemic, have already rebounded to 2019 levels and are likely to exceed them.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said: “China has not yet started on a green recovery. But they have not yet missed the opportunity for a Chinese reset, if China changes its next five-year plan [due to be settled next March]. Whatever China builds now should be green.”

Without China, a global green recovery looks impossible. “If China does not come up with green recovery packages, putting a new five-year plan in line with the target of net zero, then the world’s chances of reaching its climate targets will be close to zero,” Birol warned.

Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific analysis, found that governments in many countries, far from prioritising low-carbon growth, were bolstering carbon-intensive industries and loosening environmental regulations. Niklas Höhne, of the NewClimate Institute, one of the partner organisations behind CAT, warned: “What we’re seeing more of is governments using the pandemic recovery to roll back climate legislation and bail out the fossil fuel industry, especially in the US, but also in Brazil, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other countries.”

However, Lord Nicholas Stern, the climate economist, said countries still had time to move into a new phase of recovery, where green spending could be prioritised. Most of the initial $12tn in rescue packages around the world has gone to increase liquidity, prop up wages and stop companies going bust, which offers little opportunity for greening.


The idea that governments all around the world are fiving billions to bail out oil companies is absurd, and of course no evidence whatsoever is provided to back this up.

What is clear is that the money has gone, as Nick Stern notes, to increase liquidity, prop up wages and stop companies going bust. Would the Guardian rather have millions of unemployed, just so that we could have more windmills instead?

There is a very simple reason why governments outside of Europe are not going for a green recovery. It is no more than a sham, which will see trillions of dollars tipped down the drain, accompanied by the collapse of traditional economies.

Most governments see this clearly. It is only Sleepy Joe and the political class in Europe that have lost all touch with reality. A “green recovery” is no recovery at all.

  1. Jackington permalink
    November 11, 2020 10:53 am

    Quite right too!

  2. Howard Paul permalink
    November 11, 2020 10:56 am

    One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

  3. John Cullen permalink
    November 11, 2020 11:00 am

    We can reinforce our host’s conclusions by quoting from prof. Gordon Hughes’ latest paper on wind energy economics linked here:-

    Start of quote:-
    In stark terms a significant portion of wind output is expensive to produce and of no value in terms of its contribution to national wellbeing. Other than sheer ignorance there is no excuse for policymakers tolerating, let along promoting, this outcome.

    I will conclude with some general lessons from the study:

    1. Stop pretending! The projections of the costs of achieving Net Zero put out by government bodies and many others rely on cost estimates that are just wishful thinking. They have no basis in actual experience and a realistic appraisal of trends in costs. As a very broad brush calculation the cost of meeting the Net Zero target by 2050 is much more likely to be 10+% of annual GDP than the claimed 1-2% of GDP.
    End of quote.

    As our host says, the green recovery is no more than a sham. Fortunately for their citizens “Most governments see this clearly. It is only Sleepy Joe and the political class in Europe that have lost all touch with reality. A “green recovery” is no recovery at all.” Thus we who live in the USA and Europe are likely to suffer dearly for this wilful economic ignorance.


    • Steve permalink
      November 11, 2020 11:27 am

      Joe may appear to be half gone but the lobbying behind has turned Boris. It appears Green but is increasingly from the oil and gas corporations. They see the future long term and are desperate to stop nuclear and renewables suit them better because the fluctuations require gas to be reformed to hydrogen with carbon capture and storage in old oil and gas fields. The customer will pay three times more for this energy if not more. They have their lobby on the UK Climate Change Committee and this has accepted the renewable route and both political sides of Parliament have been persuaded. It’s a huge stitch up.

  4. Barbara permalink
    November 11, 2020 11:03 am

    ‘A green recovery is no recovery at all’ – Paul you have said it all here in a few simple words we can all hold on to.

  5. November 11, 2020 11:25 am

    The world is more rational than previously thought?

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      November 11, 2020 12:10 pm

      The reality is that only Western countries (essentially the US and W Europe) are seriously concerned about the impact of GHG emissions on the climate. Yet Western countries are the source of only 25% of global emissions. For developing countries, the overriding priority is economic development – and that means burning fossil fuels.

      • spetzer86 permalink
        November 11, 2020 1:52 pm

        The ultimate reality is that even Western countries don’t really care all that much about climate. Look at any study where a tax dollar increase has been directly associated with a climate initiative.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        November 11, 2020 2:40 pm

        Yes spetzer, that may well be true. Perhaps I should have referred to Western governments.

      • cajwbroomhill permalink
        November 11, 2020 11:04 pm

        Quite right too!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 11, 2020 1:07 pm

      Because they are all staring at huge unemployment thanks to the insane response to Covid coupled with a mammoth increase in debt. And all this Green Green nonsense is just more spending.

  6. Geoff B permalink
    November 11, 2020 11:34 am

    Our mission should be to get COP26 cancelled. Reason, it is irrelevant. I read that 90,000 are going to attend , there is no way you need that many people and the chances of them all agreeing on anything is zero. There is no climate emergency, it just got a bit warmer, now that has stopped and it is going to get colder. No direct proof that increased CO2 caused the warming; CO2 is the elixir of life for plant growth, the more the merrier.
    Of course all contributors to this site know that, we have got to get out and spread the word.

    Off topic I see XR have another PR disaster at the cenotaph today, top management backpedaling claiming it was organised by rebels in the group. Now they know how we feel about them.

    • Gamecock permalink
      November 11, 2020 11:57 am

      Don’t cancel COP26. Require all attendees to hike the last 20 miles to get to it. We’ll see how much they really care.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 11, 2020 2:58 pm

        I suspect many of the private jets will in any case go to Prestwick. And thence to Royal Troon for a 5 mile hike…

  7. AndyG55 permalink
    November 11, 2020 11:59 am

    Whatever China builds now should be green.”

    Who do these guys think they are that they think they can dictate the colour the Chinese paint their coal fired power stations.

    Seriously !!

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 11, 2020 12:14 pm

    At least they’ll always have the green jobs bonanza – not!

    “Most Britons see their car as more important now and would not choose greener alternative.”

    That’s the trouble with trying to trigger ‘the great reset’, doesn’t always go exactly to plan.
    No biggy, they’ll make private cars too expensive and inconvenient anyway.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 11, 2020 1:10 pm

      Everybody’s Green until it means they have to do something. Young people think they don’t need cars but wait until they’ve got two children, a buggy, a travel cot and all the rest to get to a house in Cornwall.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        November 11, 2020 1:36 pm

        I think it was the boxer George Foreman who said something like “Everybody has a plan until he gets a punch in the mouth”. Maybe this winter’s or next winter’s blackout will be that punch in the mouth.

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 11, 2020 12:30 pm

    RR mini-nuclear?

    Can’t really describe it as green jobs – proper tech/engineering!

    • StephenP permalink
      November 12, 2020 9:14 am

      As far as green jobs are concerned, I cannot see a degree in gender studies appealing to the RR recruitment team.
      Also COP26 attendees should have to use green transport and have heating, cooking etc done by renewable electricity.
      They would have to hope for a windy month.!?!

  10. Robin Guenier permalink
    November 11, 2020 12:42 pm

    It’s interesting that, in this article, the Guardian singles out China (‘the worst of the major economies‘) as the bad guy. Yet on the same day, the same correspondent (Fiona Harvey) in another article on the same subject quotes Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary-general, who, after saying ‘we must redouble our efforts before we pass the point of no return’ [oh no – it’s the point of no return again], cites China as an example of how ‘countries can still turn themselves around‘. All very confusing.

  11. Broadlands permalink
    November 11, 2020 12:49 pm

    It appears that the pandemic travel lockdown has finally sunk in? The political climatologists cannot have their ‘green’ rapid lowering of carbon fuel emissions without a devastated economy. It should not take a special study for the Guardian to see what is obvious. Maybe Sleepy Joe and his green cabal might take notice?

    • spetzer86 permalink
      November 11, 2020 1:58 pm

      Maybe you’re not suppose to notice. You’re certainly not expected to question any aspect of the plan. A devastated economy sure creates a lot of government-dependent individuals and families. If this can be dragged on for a while longer, masks and everything else just become normal and expected. The next layer of changes, maybe banning ICE and further limiting human movement, will cause less of a ripple.

      • Broadlands permalink
        November 11, 2020 2:33 pm

        That’s what is happening in the US. The governing bodies are trying to give $$$$$ to every individual put out of work by the Chinese virus. A big step toward socialism?

    • A Man of No Rank permalink
      November 11, 2020 3:58 pm

      A pity about our “devastated economies” but did those reduced carbon emissions change the Climate?

  12. Phoenix44 permalink
    November 11, 2020 1:04 pm

    Green activists produce Green propaganda which Green media propagates as if it is fact to handful of Green activists.

    The odd thing is that the Guardian is making more redundancies despite such a cunning business plan.

  13. November 11, 2020 1:14 pm

    What a great collection of comments. Read them all. With thanks to the commenters.

  14. November 11, 2020 2:09 pm

    See how “soft” the commentator is on China…not one word of criticism. I am rather surprised there is not a gloating anti Trump stop press given the likely outcome of the farce called an election process in a country I care about deeply.

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      November 11, 2020 2:50 pm

      That’s not really true pmfb: having praised France and Germany, she (Fiona Harvey) goes on to say: ‘On the other end of the scale, China is faring the worst of the major economies‘. And it’s interesting to note how she cites praise for China in another article in the same paper published on the same day – see my post at 12:42 this afternoon.

      • November 11, 2020 6:25 pm

        Yes Robin but the language is very mild indeed as if she thinks she is encouraging a precocious child. Mild words of constant encouragement. The treatment of China is totally at odds to its behaviour which smacks again of of an agenda. If they really believed the BS then they would be screaming for military force to bring China into line. Compare that the the vitriol rained down on the US under Trump

  15. cajwbroomhill permalink
    November 12, 2020 10:18 am

    Best for complying governments to await climatic events showing any convincing trend for change which could damage the nations’ human and economic health, trade and morale.
    There is no empirical evidence let alone proof of the “greenies'” fears over manmade causation of adverse changes or of decarbonisation as an effective prophylaxis.
    (For that matter, delay until such time as Greta Thunberg and the like might grow up would probably be a useful prompt for reconsideration of AGW as relevant to the climate and us.)

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