Comment on economic recovery

Published:21 May 2020

Speaking at an ECIU briefing on economic recovery:

Adair Turner, Senior Fellow, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) said: “Governments are inevitably going to be spending collectively trillions of dollars to promote growth and jobs as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is obviously incumbent on them to ensure it is spent prudently and in line with other objectives, including their decarbonisation commitments.

“For example, should a company receive public money if it has not analysed and disclosed the risks that climate change poses to its shareholders’ investments? Should a government support companies whose business models are not aligned with the Paris Agreement, thereby running the risk of paying taxpayer’s money to assets that will soon be stranded?

"These are principles that logically should guide governments through the coming months, ensuring that the jobs and growth created are sound and sustainable.”

Emma Pinchbeck, incoming CEO, Energy UK said: “The UK’s low carbon energy transition has already delivered numerous benefits in terms of lower cost energy, new jobs and falling emissions – and rebuilding after Covid-19 offers an opportunity to go further, faster.

“Stepping up in greening our big infrastructure, whether that’s our heating, buildings, or power stations will help small and large businesses all over the country.

We must accelerate the remarkable decarbonisation of our power system by supporting a range of clean and innovative technologies with clever policy and, for big infrastructure projects, the right investment.

This industrial revolution will create thousands of jobs - and we have seen, from the success of wind, that the bold approach pays dividends.”

Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley said: “Both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have recently reiterated the Government’s commitment to tackling climate change and boosting the UK’s resilience as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, by investing in clean industries and infrastructure. This is absolutely right. Clean, low carbon ambition is not at odds with economic growth, but crucial to it, and not just for the sake of our recovery at home, but also to demonstrate the global leadership needed in the run up to COP26, the UK-hosted UN climate summit next year.

“We have to embrace new clean and green technologies as part of how we reboot the economy after the pandemic. The UK is already a world leader in technologies such as offshore wind, which is now cheaper compared to most fossil fuel alternatives, including gas. This should be applied right across the economy, spurring innovation in low carbon alternatives in industry. This could be a boost to ex-mining areas, such as my constituency, where people don’t want to go back to the industries of the past but work to support new growth in areas like hydrogen and renewables which represent the future for our country. The focus has got to be on building a resilient economic future rooted in sustainable growth and jobs.”