Governments are being warned not to redirect resources earmarked for climate change in recovery efforts after coronavirus.
Global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to fall by up to 11 per cent this year because of the coronavirus’ impact on business and industry, but could rise more than initially projected if environmental policies aren’t implemented.
The Climate Action Tracker estimates fossil fuel and industry emissions to fall between four to 11 per cent compared to last year, and even up to nine per cent in 2021.
CAT says governments should adopt green stimulus packages to help with recovery after the pandemic, to help both the economy and the environment.
If that’s not done, analysis shows emissions could rebound and overshoot 2030 projections despite lower economic growth in that period.
Climate Analytics chief Bill Hare says the government can enhance resilience to climate change post coronavirus.
“But in the worst-case scenario, which involves the kind of fossil fuel rebound we saw after the 2008 global financial crisis, economic stimulus will be obtained at the expense of already-achieved climate policies,” he said.
NewClimate Institute’s Niklas Hohne says the reduction in emissions caused by coronavirus is likely to only delay an increase.
“If governments divert resources tagged for climate change to address the pandemic, economic recovery from COVID-19 will only plunge the world further into the climate crisis,” he said.
In the energy sector, CAT recommends governments provide direct support for zero emissions technologies while not reviving plans for fossil fuel projects.
When it comes to building it says energy efficiency retrofits of buildings should occur.
CAT also calls for financial incentives for zero emissions vehicles and to not roll back on emissions standards for cars.