A coalition of 57 charities have become the latest to call on the UK government to target a green recovery from COVID-19.
In an open letter sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (15 June), the coalition headed by the Climate Coalition calls for a just, sustainable and clean energy transition to form the core of the recovery.
This will allow the UK to build back better and “level-up”, creating a more equitable society whilst also pushing for net zero.
Calling the recovery a “crucial juncture in history” the group says the actions taken now in response to the pandemic will “determine whether humanity succeeds in our goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, halt and reverse the decline of nature and eradicate poverty”.
“Only then can we build the prosperous and just net zero future envisioned in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals,” the letter continues.
The letter – which is signed by groups such as Possible, Green Alliance and Community Energy England – outlines seven key priorities for the UK government.
Number one of which is a call to prioritise renewable energy, increasing public capital investment as well as training and reskilling to help create over 100,000 clean energy jobs.
It also calls for increased private sector investment for net zero, an economic policy foundation to drive a sustainable recovery and transitioning land use and the farming system.
Additionally the letter urges the UK government to engage with the international community to reverse the decline of biodiversity, to align all public financing abroad with a just energy transition and to strengthen international support to allow the most vulnerable communities globally to also benefit from a just and clean transition.
“Next year, the UK will host the UN Climate Summit, COP26, to deliver a strong global lead on climate action,” the letter finishes. “The best way to show this leadership is to put resilience at the heart of our economic recovery by accelerating the transition to net zero, restoring nature and supporting the most vulnerable at home and overseas.
“By doing so, the UK government can help to forge a brighter and more resilient future. It is time for decisive action to deliver economic renewal and we are committed to working with you to achieve it.”
The charities are the latest in a slew of calls to place net zero and a green energy transition at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery.
Last week, the Aldersgate Group highlighted that low carbon projects could help address the imminent economic challenges caused by the pandemic, while the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group added its weight to the calls for a green recovery.
Other groups that have echoed the call include the Committee on Climate Change, the Confederation of British Industry, the International Renewable Energy Agency and another open letter signed by a group of 200 business leaders.
In response, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s secretary Alok Sharma has announced a roundtable to examine the topic.