G20 summit will test resolve on greener economy

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A G20 summit next week will test leading countries’ appetite to fight climate change after spending trillions bailing out banks and shoring up the global economy…

“We need a very clear signal that the G20 views this as broader than fixing a financial crisis,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program.

“When you see $100 billion going into rescuing one or two companies you have to ask yourself is this the most rational way of dealing with a (climate) threat that will have far greater economic consequences and human suffering…”

G20 powers could confirm next Thursday their commitment to forge a new climate treaty in Copenhagen, and urge spending wherever possible of a $2 trillion-3 trillion global stimulus on “green” causes, analysts say…

Applying environmental conditions to stimulus spending may also pare state aid and protectionism fears. But the fight against recession inevitably means that the climate cash left will have to lever private sector money.

Governments could get more for their buck by guaranteeing private sector loans, or under-writing “green bonds” where pension and insurance funds invested in clean energy…

“(Making) government spending work very, very hard in terms of leveraging private capital… that fits very much with the Copenhagen agenda,” HSBC analyst Nick Robins said.

It all begins to look like the world’s largest PR campaign and balancing act.

Though – I think – it is possible to use the Keynesian amendments to government support dependent upon Green conditions. I think we can count on that from the Obama delegation and at least lip service from Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel. The latter two are sneaking up on elections and look ready to topple over to the Right at the drop of a single molecule of fossil fuel.

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