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Virus stimulus can help combat climate crisis: central banks

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LondonUnited Kingdom | AFP Massive financial stimulus in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic offers a “once in a lifetime” chance to insulate the global economy from the climate crisis, central bankers declared Friday.

“This (COVID-19) crisis offers us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild our economy in order to withstand the next shock coming our way: climate breakdown,” read an opinion piece published in British newspaper The Guardian.

“Unless we act now, the climate crisis will be tomorrow’s central scenario and, unlike COVID-19, no one will be able to self-isolate from it.”

The text was penned by Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau and Dutch central banker Frank Elderson.

It was signed also by the former BoE head Mark Carney, now the UN’s new special advisor for climate action and finance.

“In the aftermath of the (2008-09) financial crisis the international community rallied together to reform the financial system,” the joint letter said.

“These reforms have enabled the financial system to be part of the solution rather than the problem.

“Once again we have reached a fork in the road. We have a choice: rebuild the old economy, locking in temperature increases… with extreme climate disruption; or build back better, preserving our planet for generations to come.

“To meet the climate crisis challenge, we must learn from the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us make a green recovery the first step down that road,” it added.

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