Europe's climate moment, new green bond strategies, and stalking a silent killer

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

Remember Brexit? Seems so pre-Covid. But it’s still happening, and we got a good taste of the different directions Europe and the UK are going this week, at least in the climate space.

While the UK argued to postpone the Cop26 global climate summit in Glasgow for a full year from its original date this November, saying it won’t be ready to host any earlier, Europe pushed through the world’s first real crisis recovery plan that includes major green commitments.

The massive strategy, representing a quarter of the EU’s spend on rebuilding its economies, is laid out by Stephen Rae in Dublin with sharp insights about how it will work and who will be responsible. Also, Henry Shilling, former head of sustainable research at Moody’s and now running his own outfit, Sustainable Research and Analysis in New York, updates on new innovations in the growing market for green bonds and green loans, with Europe leading the way.

As we emerge from our homes after almost three months, blinking into the light of a new world filled with masks, sanitizers and separated tables, Europe is quietly schooling the U.S., China and Latin America on how to rebuild in sustainable ways. In fact, this CBS News report shows China has simply turned up the old pollution engine to high to try and pull its economy back.

The different directions each country is taking on green rebuilding, in many ways mirroring the erratic ways each is handling the coronavirus, exposes the challenges we face even as we mourn the 350,000 killed by the virus in the past 150 days. As I explain in my Zeus column, climate is killing, too. We just aren’t prepared to look.

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