The global coronavirus pandemic continues unfolding affecting lives and livelihoods and taking down the normal functioning of society, stalling the world’s economy.
“As we look to the future, it is important to remember that climate change remains the biggest threat to society” Carlos Salle, Senior Vice President at Iberdrola the Spanish global energy utility.
Forty global energy giants including Iberdrola, BP and Shell are calling on governments to support a massive wave of investments in renewable electricity together with low carbon energy solutions.
They are asking for the technologies to be included within the recovery strategy that will bring us out of the Covid-19 pandemic tunnel.
The Energy Transitions Commission has called out to governments across the world and includes businesses at the heart of the energy, industry and finance sectors with Allianz, HSBC, Iberdrola and Envision.
As the pandemic slowly recedes everything still needs to be done to protect and preserve the world’s population and the healthcare systems. Yet at the same time attention is turning to the implementation of recovery measures and investment in the green economies, renewable energies and low-carbon technologies must be at the centre of global efforts.
A wave of economic stimuli is being planned and the investments have to be used wisely, below are a number of areas that have been identified by the Energy Transitions Commission that require sharp focus if we are to maximise the benefits from the initiative to restore economic stability.
· Major investment in the renewables power systems sector
· The construction sector a major driver must be led by green buildings and a green infrastructure
· Pursue clean air by supporting innovation within the automotive sector (since lockdown daily CO2 emissions within the EU are down by 60% (as stated by the Financial Times 8th April 2020)
· Accelerate the transition away from the carbon fossil fuel industries and toward renewable forms of energy.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) a major targeted investment in the renewable energies industry against a business as usual scenario would deliver global GDP gains of over $98 trillion by 2050. An investment in clean power systems constitutes the single biggest investment opportunity of the next decade it is our ‘Window of Opportunity’ and should not be missed.
Another institutional body the International Energy Agency has stated that during the Coronavirus pandemic oil and gas markets have plunged and renewables are the only energy source that will see growth in demand in what remains of 2020.
Other areas must not be overlooked while the world economies embark on the recovery phase including low carbon fuels for aviation and shipping sectors, the production of hydrogen using zero carbon technology. Re-looking at greener steel and cement production in the construction sectors accompanied by better, smarter business models in the future.
If we are to come out of the Covid-19 tunnel in good shape we need to remodel our economies to be less dependant on fossil fuels and be more sustainable going forwards.
Carlos Salle Senior VP at Iberdrola also stated
“In the face of this challenge, aligning and fighting against climate change with recovery stimulus packages is a ‘win-win’ situation, this will create sustainable jobs due to the competitiveness of low carbon technologies, which will help to re-energise the economy in a more resilient way”
The European Commission's energy chief Kadri Simson on the 5th of May told participants in an on-line debate that how Europe responds to the pending recession created by the Coronavirus
“in the next few months will come to define the next few years, and even decades”
The following day the European Commission published its spring economic forecast and expects that the EU economy will shrink by 7.4%.
He also flagged up the forthcoming wave of building renovation within the EU scheduled to begin in September.
Outlining rooftop solar and offshore wind energy generation as elements that need to be at the core of the economic recovery
Simson believes the EU necessity to rebuild the economy post crisis, is presenting Europe the opportunity to fast forward the dialogue and debate on climate neutrality for 2050.
Last week following an EU summit, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Green Deal is the “new growth strategy” and will be “our motor for the recovery”.
We may only be entering the post Coronavirus tunnel but there is already light from the other end… generated renewably of course.
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