U.S. and U.K. Coronavirus Stimulus Money Focuses on Fossil Fuels Rather Than Clean Energy, Missing a Jobs Rebound

Oct. 30, 2020 — LONDON — Collapsing climate and plunging employment — the world’s supposedly smartest politicians still don’t seem to get it.

Desperate to deal with a global pandemic that’s shuttered huge chunks of their economies, governments are STILL favoring the fossil fuels that are threatening the future health of their voters and the pleasant existence of the climate as we know it.

This fascinating chart from Wartsila, the Finnish energy-technology company, shows just how dire the situation is:

Don’t get me wrong. I fully realise fossil fuels are needed for years, even decades, to come. Many environmentalists don’t understand that a transition means some support for fossil fuels is still probably needed.

Heck, stock markets may have even marked down some pretty solid old-energy companies a little too much lately. It might even be time to buy them.

But the spending ratios that Wartsila is highlighting just don’t feel right, especially when you think about the employment prospects in clean energy versus old energy.

See this chart:

If politicians argue they are getting it right, it’s time for them to show us the data. I doubt they can, but I’m listening, just in case.

Governments need to urgently start taking heed of business, or they will be voted out. Let’s see what happens to Donald Trump over the next few days (I realise it is not guaranteed). Wartsila is not some sort of lefty, pinko organisation that does not understand economics, market incentives and capital allocation. Indeed, the company has a fossil-fuel arm.

Yet it concludes this:

“The weight of support for the fossil-fuel sector from announced stimulus packages shows the persisting institutional bias in favour of preserving a legacy sector. This is very likely to prove myopic, economically-speaking, and misaligned with G20 countries’ decarbonisation commitments under the Paris climate agreement.”

It’s surely time for the government people being remunerated by the tax-paying mums and dads of the world to wake up.


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