Despite mounting pressure for bailout resources to be used to tackle climate change, most of the money spent so far to overcome the covid-19 pandemic has been used to keep the economy going, according to three studies.
However, what comes next may be more important for the climate, as governments move into emergency mode and begin planning and spending money on a post-COVID-19 recovery.
"There are many different groups of people looking at whether the stimulus efforts will help or harm the climate," Joel Jaeger, a research associate at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, told Reuters Newsagency.
"Everyone is coming to the same conclusion: the response so far has not been very climate friendly.
The pandemic has already prompted the United States, Europe, China, Japan, and others to commit trillions in stimulus funds to the economy, with colossal new injections expected within 18 months.
For climate advocates, these resources represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shift the world onto a low-carbon path by supporting projects, such as renewable energy, efficient buildings, and electric vehicles, to reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions.
Christiana Figueres, a former United Nations climate chief who co-founded the environmental platform Global Optimism, called stimulus spending "the last chance" to achieve the goals of the UN-sponsored 2015 Paris Agreement.
"The scale is such that it will determine the contours of the global economy for decades to come," Figueres told Reuters.
In the initial post-covid-19 pandemic response, governments focused on mitigating the impact of the pandemic, which sent billions of people into lockdown and jeopardized the incomes of nearly half of the world's workforce. , according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
That meant funneling large amounts of money into highly polluting pillars of the pre-pandemic economy.
So far, the G20 countries have pledged at least $ 151 billion to support fossil fuel sectors, such as airlines, coal, oil and gas, and road construction, according to a base. Energy Policy Tracker data released this week by a group of research institutes and activists.