Around the world, governments have committed more than $12tn to kickstart economies that have been ravaged by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is about 15% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and multiple times more than that put forward in the aftermath of the global financial crisis 10 years ago. At the same time, climate efforts by governments worldwide are currently insufficient to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. Today’s policies put the world on a path to around 3C of warming above pre-industrial levels – and the severe climate impacts that come with it. Recent research warns that the temporary drop in global emissions caused by the pandemic will result in no detectable climate effects in the long run. However, strong green stimulus measures can transform this near-term blip into the long-term emissions reductions that can avoid 0.3C of warming by mid-century – and could help limit it to 1.5C. In our new analysis, published as a “policy forum” paper in the journal Science, we show that an opportunity for getting on a path to a 1.5C world can be seized if just a fraction of Covid-19 fiscal stimulus is invested annually in a “climate-positive” recovery.
Carbon Brief 15th Oct 2020 read more »