Influential environmental campaigners E3G have given a guarded welcome to the government’s reported intention to urge a ‘green Marshall plan’ on world leaders meeting in Cornwall this weekend.
More money is needed, the London-based think tank warns, and needs to be funnelled through reformed world finance bodies.
The Times was the Conservatives’ preferred outlet on Tuesday to trail Johnson’s wish for a co-ordinated, global ‘build back greener’ initiative, which he and chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil to G7 leaders in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.
Per the report, the scheme would flag up urgent needs for post-Covid short-term relief, and take long-term structural challenges such as climate change “into account”. Large-scale clean energy across Africa and parts of Asia will figure most prominently, per Conservative Home, in what the prime minister calls his “clean green initiative”. Sub-Saharan renewables are considered crucial to winning over developing countries to make ambitious commitments at CoP26 in Glasgow against the globe’s climate catastrophe.
A G7-branded climate initiative would also counter Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, which has provided Chinese investment in power and other infrastructure to almost 70 countries since 2013.
E3G today warns that, without upscaling development aid ‘from billions to trillions’, Johnson’s initiative is at risk of becoming ineffectual.
“G7 leaders need to agree a comprehensive package of finance solidarity”, says the pressure group. This should include meeting their promises on providing $100bn a year in climate finance as well as unlocking finance for green recoveries.
“This involves reallocating IMF Special Drawing Rights, committing to debt restructuring, and scaling up the resources of Multilateral Development Banks
MDBs, run on the lines of one or more green International Monetary Funds, could be a centrepiece of Johnson’s initiative, say E3G . A pooling of national aid priorities, plus other structural reforms, could unleash the idea’s potential and boost MDBs’ financial firepower.
E3G says Johnson’s insistence on cutting UK aid from its pledged level of 0.7% GDP, have hampered his credibility.
The credibility of Johnson’s plan hinges on three things, according to E3G’s executive director Nick Mabey, “First, a strong capital package that will be able to shift investment in developing countries from billions to trillions. Without funding, the initiative risks becoming another paper tiger.
“Second, a principle-driven initiative that is clear on its promotion of net-zero, resilient, green development, and a strong emphasis on transparency, anti-corruption and human rights.
“Third, the initiative’s openness to any country keen to enter a path of green and clean development, as well as openness for any non-G7 country to join the initiative, if it adheres to its principles”.
The United Nations’ CoP26 meeting in Glasgow in November would then dovetail in, filling ‘solidarity gaps’ left by G7 climate and finance ministers, and investing in green recovery projects around the world, says E3G.
More from E3G here.
US secretary of state George Marshall gave his name to the late 1940s’ refinancing of pro-Western economies shattered by World War 2.