Corona and emissions – friend or foe of the green transition?

Timely Insight #6

By now, you cannot have avoided coming across some of the widespread disruptions caused by COVID-19. Amongst other effects of the outbreak, emissions levels have plunged due to decreased production intensity. If you are a climate activist, or even simply have come to terms with that human activity is causing dangerous climate change, this might intuitively seem like the good in the bad, but is this really the case?

Seen in a larger time-frame, some argue that it might not be: “Economists and policy analysts say they are most concerned about how the current financial disruption could harm the efforts (…) to reduce emissions.” But how does the economic stagnation (or even recession) caused by the Coronavirus play into reduction of emissions?

On top of increasing “black” consumption incentivised by the plummeting oil prices, “(…) energy companies are likely to struggle to finance projects, which could have a big effect on renewable energy, since solar, wind and other renewable technologies (…)”.

For this scenario not to play out, emissions reductions (and climate mitigation in general) need to be front and center to the decision-makers post COVID-19. We might face a time where we turn to re-accelerating economies as our immediate response, but we have to keep asking ourselves how we can contribute to building a livable future rather than rebuilding something that was never sustainable in the first place.

Read the article: Coronavirus ‘Really Not the Way You Want To Decrease Emissions’.

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Timely Insights in an interconnected world

Timely Insights for Climate Action digs into current developments to illuminate an interconnected world.

A global pandemic with severe impacts on people’s lives in most places, says a lot about the times we live in. Join us from your self-quarantine in exploring timely insights from COVID-19 outbreak and beyond, and what it means for climate action.

We’re compiling existing articles to discuss and highlight how they help us understand the ways in which the world is connected. In these days of social distancing, we aim to support ourselves and readers in leveraging the learnings from what’s unfolding right now, to be better suited for catalyzing climate action.

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