Taking a backseat: Even though the world has been given a glimpse into what stringent climate action can do to reduce emissions, the UN has said the global focus will shift from climate change to the coronavirus for now. Credit: Business Insider

UN shifts focus from climate change to coronavirus

Climate change will take a back seat as the novel Coronavirus becomes top priority for the globe – that was the message sent out to reporters by UN chief António Guterres. While global warming and achieving the Paris target will still be on the agenda for countries, all resources will be directed towards battling the pandemic, Guterres said in an online press conference.  

The coronavirus has put a giant question mark over developing countries’ plans to step up their climate action this year, with meetings being postponed and resources being allotted to the fight against the pandemic.

They were to submit tougher climate action plans ahead of the Cop 26 in Glasgow to be held in November. Officials, however, said the summit may have to be postponed because of the pandemic, but they have not given up hope yet.

Coronavirus scare: Inject capital for power gencos, suspend NPAs, FICCI tells govt

Inject capital for power gencos payments and suspend Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said in a note to the government amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

The pandemic has already hit the power industry and reports have shown a 26% drop in power consumption in less than ten days since March 18, 2020. This, after it had grown at 10.8% in February this year. Distribution companies have been given a three-month moratorium on payments to power producers in an effort to ensure 24×7 electricity supply during the lockdown.

Russia’s revised climate action plan doesn’t impress experts

Russia’s revised climate action plans drew criticism from experts as it allows greenhouse gas emissions to rise to 2030. According to the new plan, by 2030, emissions would be up by 51% of 1990 levels. While this is definitely more ambitious than the existing target to limit 2030 emissions to 75% of 1990 levels, experts called it ‘baby steps’ and said it meant ‘no real progress’.

UK to co-chair climate change initiative established by India

The UK will be the first co-chair of the Governing Council on the India-led global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which was established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The group links governments, the UN, banks and private sector groups to help infrastructure systems develop resilience to climate and disaster risks.

US coronavirus stimulus package: No boost for oil producers, but no climate action either

Amidst plummeting crude prices, the Trump administration sought $3 billion from Congress to top up the country’s strategic petroleum reserves, which is a potential boost to the country’s oil producers. While acknowledging that falling crude prices benefitted consumers, he also said ‘it hurts a great industry, and a very powerful industry’. But this found no mention in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that was released this past fortnight.Despite the Democrats pushing for the inclusion of climate action in the relief package, it also found no mention in the final legislation. The Democrats wanted a provision that would have required airlines to cut emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050 – which the industry has already voluntarily committed to – to be included in the package. But it found no mention. Instead, the airline industry got a $25 billion boost.

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