Covid-19 has caused unprecedented economic disruption over the last two years, with devastating consequences for billions of people around the world. These fears have only been compounded in recent weeks, with global sanctions against Russia – which provides nearly 40% of the European Union's natural gas and more than 25% of its crude oil – leading to rising gas and oil prices around the world and increasing political instability.
As countries seek to emerge from these shocks, governments have an unprecedented opportunity to roll out public stimulus packages that drive decarbonization and create jobs in green infrastructure and renewable energy. This is a pivotal moment to give green economies a boost and move away from fossil fuels and harmful environmental practices.
Yet, despite the commitments made at the COP26 climate summit last year, many fear leaders will resort to reviving economies by doubling down on extracting fossil fuels.
Through this project, EJN aims to support the production of in-depth stories on recovery plans around the world, to increase awareness about the importance of low-carbon development and environmental protection in these stimulus packages. After all, a well-informed public is better equipped to hold governments and corporations accountable to the climate commitments they’ve made.
With the help of Svenska Postkodstiftelsen (the Swedish Postcode Foundation), EJN will provide grants to 11 journalists looking to report on the promises made by their governments to progress toward a sustainable future:
- Agata Skrzypcyyk – Energy Transition Blog, Poland
- Antonio Ramon Royandoyan – Philstar Online, Philippines
- Bongani Siziba – SABC news, South Africa
- Eman Mounir – Zat Masr, Egypt
- Julian Reingold – Anfibia Magazine, Greece
- Lam Le – Al Jazeera English Online, Vietnam
- Melina Harris – Kaieteur News, Guyana
- Rakiya Muhammad- The Guardian, Nigeria
- Uveli Aleman – Diario El Mundo, El Salvador
- Van Nguyen - Vietnam News, Vietnam
- Winfrith Hikloch Ogola – JamiiForums, Tanzania
This cohort of grantees will work closely with EJN mentors and experienced thematic experts to produce in-depth stories that explore the promise of wind power in Argentina, analyze Poland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, consider the impetus to expand mangrove cultivation in Egypt, and investigate bitcoin mining in El Salvador, among other topics. All stories will consider the commitments – or lack thereof, from governments to a green recovery.
“In times of crisis there is often opportunity – and right now the world has the unprecedented opportunity to trigger a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and progress towards a carbon-neutral future,” said Charlie Debenham, EJN Program Coordinator. “This is a critical time to hold governments accountable, mobilizing journalists to keep a spotlight on these recovery packages and report whether they’re being used for the benefit of both people and planet.”
Read more about EJN’s Green Recovery project here. Look out for these stories on the EJN website.
Banner image: Wind turbines in Aruba / Credit: Rabih Shasha via Unsplash.