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Treasury Committee relaunches green finance inquiry to examine COVID-19 recovery

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

The Treasury Committee is relaunching its green finance inquiry, seeking additional written evidence.

This evidence is to be on whether the UK’s response to COVID-19 should take net zero by 2050 into account and how this should be done.

More specifically, the Committee is looking for evidence on whether there are any green policies the Treasury should change or commence due to COVID-19 to facilitate the transition to net zero, whether the Treasury should directly fund green infrastructure as part of its COVID-19 spending package and if there are any outcomes from COVID-19 that will enable the Treasury and HMRC to meet net zero more easily.

Other questions that the Committee are asking for evidence for are:

  • In which ways will the new economy post-coronavirus allow the Government to change the way it finances meeting the net zero Target?
  • Should the Treasury’s support package for business distinguish between companies based on how much they pollute?

Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Committee, said the Committee had received “a great deal” of evidence since launching the inquiry over a year ago but that since then, COVID-19 has had an impact on the economy meaning that “clearly much has changed”.

“The Climate Assembly’s report published last month said that post-lockdown steps to aid economic recovery should drive progress to achieve net zero.

“So now is the time to ask whether the government can seize the opportunity presented by the crisis to further green the economy to achieve net zero by 2050,” Stride added.

A green recovery has been called for by a variety of organisations, including the Committee on Climate Change, the Aldersgate Group and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

A roundtable on a green recovery has since been held by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy, with energy secretary Alok Sharma stating that the ideas that came from that are "very much going to help to shape the work we’re doing in government on economic recovery".

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