Shut polluting industries out of COVID-19 bailout funds: Antonio Guterres

April 29 2020

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 Carbon-intensive, polluting industries should not receive taxpayer bailouts in the COVID-19 recovery efforts that should instead tackle climate change and pollution, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"By making the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient growth, we can create a world that is clean, green, safe, just and more prosperous for all" during the process of recovery from COVID-19, he said on Tuesday in an online address to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.

"Like the coronavirus, greenhouse gases respect no boundaries" and a joint international effort is required to tackle both the problems, he said.

He said, "As we plan our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we have a profound opportunity to steer our world on a more sustainable and inclusive path - a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind."

Outlining a climate-oriented recovery plan, Guterres said: "Where taxpayers' money is needed to rescue businesses, it must be creating green jobs and sustainable and inclusive growth. It must not be bailing out outdated, polluting, carbon-intensive industries."

He said the trillions spent in the recovery effort should be used to deliver new green jobs and businesses through a "just transition."

He said that fuel subsidies should end and polluters must be made to pay for their pollution, he said.

The Petersberg Dialogue brings together 30 countries to discuss international climate change policies.

It is being held via teleconferencing this year and focuses on COVID-19 recovery.


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  • IANS