Governments around the world have now allocated more than $ 12,000 billion (10,000 billion euros) for economic recovery from the corona crisis. If 10 percent of that money is invested in sustainable energy and other climate policies for five years, researchers say it will largely prevent another global crisis.
This is the conclusion drawn by researchers from Imperial College London and the German research institute Climate Analytics in a recently published report science published research.
They calculated that the stimulus packages for the corona crisis after the global recession of 2009 are already three times as large as total public investment.
At that time, investment decisions by countries led to a faster rise in CO2 emissions, as state aid was mainly used to pollute old sectors. This could be explained economically at the time, since ten years ago sustainable energy was even more expensive than fossil energy, researchers from the renowned ETH Zurich recently said.
Climate policy can boost the economy and employment
Because solar energy, wind energy and battery technology have now become much cheaper, it is now the other way around. Sustainable investments can provide the strongest economic impetus and also create a relatively large amount of employment.
“So it’s not about diverting money for recovery from the corona crisis, but rather creating a win-win situation for economic recovery that also contributes to efforts to contain climate change,” said Martina Andrijevic of Climate Analytics and Berlins Humboldt -University and also lead author of the new study in science.
“If only a fraction of the reserved money is invested in climate-friendly replenishment plans, the world can achieve a carbon-neutral net energy supply by 2050.”
The current trend still leads to (over) 3 degrees warming
Under this condition, global warming can still be limited to 1.5 degrees, the highest goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The European Union, South Korea and American presidential candidate Joe Biden want to try, among other things, to reduce CO2 emissions to zero by 2050, and China not long after that.
However, policy change is urgently needed. The current emissions trend will eventually lead to a temperature rise of at least 3 degrees. The new study shows that half of this can be prevented through targeted investments in the coming year.
But now it is also possible that the money will mainly flow in the other direction, which can actually lead to additional climate change. Last summer, an analysis showed that the G20 plans to supply fossil fuels with about ten times more corona than renewable energies.