Environmentalists appeal for green approach to rescue packages
Published: 24 Mar 2020

Environmentalists have asked that amidst all of the economic turmoil that any packages offered to aviation and cruise industries should have environmental conditions attached.

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency has commented:

"Governments are drawing up stimulus plans to counter the economic damage from coronavirus. These stimulus packages offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn't get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities".

It is recognised that right now the priority has to be the health and welfare of those caught up in the immediate effects of coronavirus, but there is a fear that long term plans being rushed could leave us in a future of fossil fuel.

The executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven has encouraged this priority, and said:

"Decisions are being made now about whether to spend billions rescuing airlines, cruise ships, the oil and gas industry, among many others. Bailing out the shareholders of dirty industries to continue business as usual rather than protecting workers and their families means we would have learnt nothing from the bank bailout during the financial crisis."

Annie Petsonk of the US-based Environmental Defense Fund argued for commitments to be made for any bailouts that are agreed:

"Taxpayers, many of whom are now struggling financially, have the right to expect responsible behaviour in exchange for bailouts. There is a worry that after the fallout from the economic hit of coronavirus that rushed measures will be put in place that could have a negative impact on the environment."

Currently, massive changes in the way people live are being seen around the world in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Changes much smaller than these could help to prevent climate change and achieve a low carbon future. Experts have argued that now is the time to show people that they are capable of coming together and living differently for a positive change.