UK should kickstart economy with green projects, says IMF
The British government should attempt to kickstart the economy and create jobs using green projects, said the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist.
The UK should prioritise spending in environmentally friendly investments during the recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s economic counsellor, said that mounting unemployment triggered by the Covid-19 crisis would require swift action to prevent lasting damage.
In a commons Treasury committee with MPs, she said countries such as the UK had an opportunity to “do public investment that also addresses the need for a greener planet, and at the same time as a jobs-rich recovery”.
Gopinath said countries had to tackle climate change and that responding to Covid-19 presented them with an opportunity to do so.
“For many countries we can see a very good argument for them to undertake public investment spending, because this is going to be a crisis where people are going to hold back spending for a while. The private sector will hold back from spending for a while, so there is a role for public investment,” she said.
Investing in a green economic recovery could create as many as 1.6m new jobs in Britain as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, according to a report published on Thursday by the Institute for Public Policy Research.