Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Support for a Green Deal Increasing in the Wake of Covid-19

Global support for climate action has increased in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. In a global poll almost three quarters of respondents indicated that they think climate change is as serious as the coronavirus.  In response to the economic collapse we are also seeing increasing interest in a targeted stimulus package that would promote a green recovery. The global poll suggests that almost two thirds of respondents support a green economic recovery.

Although Covid-19 has afflicted millions and killed hundreds of thousands there have been a host of environmental benefits associated with this modern day plague.  This includes increasing support for a green stimulus spending to drive recovery.  This entails efforts to transition away from fossil fuels to clean and renewable sources of energy. The assumption is that an energy transition and widespread decarbonization will not only combat climate change, it will generate an economic boom that will create jobs.

Supports say that it makes no sense to prop-up a dying industry, governments need to prepare for the way for the kinds of energy that can safely power our future. They argue that clean energy can both grow the economy and provide millions of good jobs. The idea is premised on sound economic analyses that indicate the benefits of climate action far outweigh the costs.

Polls reveal that this idea has been gaining traction in the U.S. and around the world.  According to a global poll conducted by the Ipsos group, 71 percent of respondents think that climate change is as serious a crisis as the coronavirus. A total of 65 percent of those polled support a green economic recovery and only 21 percent disagree.

As reported by The Independent, a UK survey by pollsters Opinium found almost half of the public agree that the government should respond "with the same urgency to climate change as it has with Covid-19", with just 28 per cent saying it shouldn't. "I think these polling figures are really exciting. That is a pretty big green light to say government’s should be far more ambitious when it comes to tackling the climate crisis then that have ever dreamed of being before," Green MP Caroline Lucas told the Compassion in Politics Podcast, which commissioned the poll. Jennifer Nadel, Co-Director of Compassion in Politics said:
"The public are way ahead of the government on their willingness to tackle climate change and where they lead, politicians will have to follow. This polling is a mandate to the British government to go further, do more, and think bigger on climate than ever before. The public's response to Covid-19 has shown how we can rise to any challenge and do so with compassion, concern, and consideration for one another. The exact same spirit, the exact same creativity, and the exact same determination will be needed to stop climate breakdown and to build back better. This crisis has created an unrivaled opening where the government could use the economic levers it has at its disposal to finally address climate change. Instead of bailing out carbon heavy industries it could build back better investing in a green new deal so that Britain emerges from this crisis a more resilient and just society."
According to a poll by Yale and George Mason University, 81 percent of Americans support the general concept of a green new deal. 

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