F20 Policy Briefing #2 – Achieving the Paris Climate Goals in the COVID-19 era

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This policy briefing was written during the COVID-19 crisis, a time of unprecedented challenges. Governments around the world are preparing for the continued fallout from the pandemic, while also developing economic stimulus packages to avoid a collapse of national economies and global markets. Shocks have been particularly hard in the fossil fuel sector, with the IEA projecting a 9% drop in oil demand, 8% in coal and 5% in natural gas in 2020. Meanwhile, solar is expected to grow by 15% and wind by 10%, with total CO2 emissions from the energy sector falling by at least 8% in 2020. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to think carefully about the future that we want to create. The recovery cannot be a return to ‘normal’ because the pre-COVID world was not normal. It was, and still is, a time of crisis with record global temperatures and loss of biodiversity. Instead, we must prioritize a coordinated global response that helps solve the climate crisis and makes our societies more resilient and less destructive. Any stimulus based on a ‘business as usual’ approach could trigger the next global crisis. The European Commission has recently pledged to put fighting climate change at the heart of its 750 billion euro ($826.3 billion) recovery plan. This stimulus package and those to follow must be invested in line with the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Failure to do so could lead to further environmental degradation, severe flooding and drought, and risks to public health from future vector-borne or zoonotic diseases. This executive briefing, produced in partnership with One Earth and the University of Technology Sydney, sets out the roadmap for a good (66%) likelihood of achieving the 1.5°C limit and shows that doing so will save trillions of dollars in avoided costs, allowing for a more rapid and sustainable economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more and download the F20 Policy Briefing here.

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