In the midst of a global pandemic and rising pressure on governments to approve stimulus packages, there now may be an opportunity for leaders to show their commitment to a 'green' economy.
This could be achieved by linking any emergency aid they introduce to conditions requiring industries to become better environmental stewards and by making the economic activity that these packages generate more sustainable by offering financial incentives to financial institutions and consumers.
Although these changes can be applicable to almost every industry, one such industry that could particularly benefit is the airline sector. Despite the fact that 2020 may actually see a worldwide carbon emissions decrease as a result of the economic disruption caused by Covid-19, carbon emissions caused by airlines are still expected to triple by 2050.
Any aid to airlines could come with conditions requiring them to reduce their carbon emissions by, for example, introducing efficiency rules, public disclosure requirements as to individual itineraries so that travelers can choose more carbon-efficient itineraries, and tax breaks for new cleaner plane models.
As these stimulus package announcements grow in number and scale, pressure is building for them to have a tangible focus on ‘green’ investments.