COVID-19 and climate change
Government policies during the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically altered patterns of energy demand around the world. Many international borders were closed and populations were confined to their homes, which reduced transport and changed consumption patterns. Also, government actions and economic incentives postcrisis will likely influence the global CO2 emissions path for decades. Those stimuli could either be a threat to global climate change or a jumpstart to achieve a net-zero energy economy. The large amount of liquidity introduced into the market can either reinforce the carbon lock-in effect by investing in the carbon-intensive sectors or go to clean energy sectors to escape the path dependences of fossil fuel-based production and consumption. The most carbon-intensive scenario would increase 5-yr global emissions (2020 to 2024) by 16.4% (23.2 Gt). In contrast, the ‘greenest’ scenario could reduce emissions by 4.7% (6.6 Gt), if the fiscal stimuli are allocated to high-tech industries with low-carbon technologies. Thus, governments need to be cautious when reopening the economy and designing fiscal stimulus plans.
Our project provides a timely analysis on the impacts of COVID-19 and ongoing recovery plans on global climate change mitigation.
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|Last modified:||21 June 2021 10.09 a.m.|