This week environment ministers from 30 countries will meet in a two-day (27 – 28 April) online conference to discuss how to organise a green economic recovery after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. They will also aim to agree on how to proceed with ambitious carbon reductions despite the postponement of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
The ‘Petersberg Climate Dialogue’ will be hosted by Svenja Schulze, Germany’s Federal Environment Minister and Alok Sharma, the UK Secretary for Business and Energy and designated President of COP26.
Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, an international non-profit with a mission of accelerating climate action said:
“The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating. As the world seeks to address the longer-term impact of this crisis, there is an opportunity for governments to help rebuild society differently. A side effect of the reduced economic activity we are seeing is cleaner air and clearer skies – through positive international cooperation we can begin to understand how we keep those things without compromising on economic growth.
“We have received signals from our partners, including 300 of the world’s largest businesses, that their commitment to climate action overwhelmingly remains in spite of the challenging circumstances. Just last week, nine members of our global electric vehicles initiative EV100, including the likes of Ingka Group, Unilever and LeasePlan, called on the EU to retain 2020 CO2 targets for cars, vans and trucks.
“Electric vehicles and renewable, efficient energy are profitable, long term investments. We need these smart green stimulus policies to not just maintain momentum but rapidly ramp-up investment to another level, and help deliver the halving of emissions we need in this decade.”