Campaigners urge governments to tie any bailouts to aviation and cruise industries to requirements for climate action

The economic rescue packages to deal with the impact of the coronavirus must also be green, a growing chorus of environmental campaigners have urged, concerned that hasty measures will lock the world into a high-carbon future.

“Governments need to put huge amounts of money into trying to sustain jobs and livelihoods,” said Mary Robinson, a former Irish president and UN high commissioner for human rights, who served twice as UN climate envoy. “But they must do it with a very strong green emphasis. The threat from climate change is as real as the threat from Covid-19, though it seems far away.”

“Money has poured into the fossil fuel industry since the Paris agreement [of 2015],” she said. “That can’t continue.”

John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace UK, said governments must act urgently to protect people’s livelihoods, which could be done without directing the money to prop up ailing sectors whose long-term future was already threatened by the climate crisis.

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