Two new analyses show that governments' economic responses to COVID-19 haven't been remotely as climate-friendly as multilateral agencies and advocates called for when the crisis took hold last year, Ben writes.
Driving the news, part 1: An International Energy Agency report finds that as of this year's second quarter, 2% — or $380 billion — of the $16 trillion worldwide fiscal response has been allocated to clean energy measures.
- A lot of that $16 trillion went toward emergency support and relief to people and companies.
- But even looking at longer-term recovery and growth-related spending, clean energy is still a fraction of the $2.3 trillion in that category.
Driving the news, part 2: The research firm BloombergNEF, in a separate analysis, concludes: "Calls for a green economic recovery have thus far largely fallen on deaf ears, with much more funding targeted at CO2-intensive sectors."
- Their findings, part of a wider new climate policy report released in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, explore measures in the G20 group of nations.
- Their assessment is that $363 billion has been allocated for various kinds of "green" efforts, while over $1.2 trillion has been set aside for "carbon-intensive sectors such as aviation and construction with no green element."
Why it matters: Groups like the IEA, International Monetary Fund and environmentalists say that recovery packages should serve the dual purpose of restoring economies while helping to cut carbon emissions.
The findings come as emissions have rebounded from their big decline during the last year's pandemic restrictions and may be heading for record highs.
What they're saying: "Many governments may have talked about the importance of building back better for a cleaner future, but many of them are yet to put their money where their mouth is," IEA head Fatih Birol said.
What we're watching: In the U.S, the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package Senate Democrats hope to pass, which is slated to have major clean energy spending and tax incentives.
The proposed bipartisan infrastructure plan has smaller but still significant provisions, including $73 billion in grid and transmission spending.