Covid-19: Polluting industries lobby to get bailouts and suspend environmental protections

Author: Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Published on: 3 June 2020

'Polluter bailouts and lobbying during Covid-19 pandemic', April 17, 2020

Polluting industries around the world are using the coronavirus pandemic to gain billions of dollars in bailouts and to weaken and delay environmental protections...

The fossil fuel industry...has had the biggest wins during the coronavirus pandemic in the US and Canada...In China...there was a surge in permits for new coal-fired power plants. In South Korea, the major coal plant builder Doosan Heavy Industries got a $825m government bailout... In Australia, lobbyists welcomed the South Australia government’s move to defer taxes and other commitments to oil and gas explorers...

In the US, the EPA finalised its rollback of Obama-era rules that made cars less polluting. In the EU, lobby groups argued for a delay in emissions reduction laws, although VW, BMW and Daimler say they are aiming to comply regardless of the virus crisis... 

In the EU, the farmers’ association Copa-Cogeca called for a further postponement of the “farm to fork” strategy, which is aimed at making agriculture less polluting... In the US, the plastic industry lobbied to remove bans on single-use plastic bags, citing hygiene concerns... The EPA also weakened the Toxic Substances Control Act for many chemical and petrochemical manufacturers... In Indonesia, the trade ministry revoked rules requiring basic certification that wood exports were legally produced...

The following companies are also mentioned: VW, BMW, Daimler, Eskom

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Related companies: BMW Daimler AG Doosan Group Eskom TC Energy (formerly Transcanada) Volkswagen