A report from the International Energy Agency says that although carbon dioxide levels fell by 17% on average globally during the lockdown, emissions are already back to within 5% of last year’s, and warns that a rebound may cause dangerously high emissions as we go back to “normal”. If emissions rebound, says the executive director, Fatih Birol, “it is very difficult to see how they will be brought down in future.”
Governments are planning to spend £7.2 trillion on economic stimulus packages in the next few months. This is an opportunity to invest in a green recovery, which could create 9 million jobs with a focus on retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient and renewable energy generation.
So far though much of the economic stimulus from governments has been directed towards high carbon industries such as airlines and coal fired power plants. Rosie Rogers, Head of Green Recovery at Greenpeace, says “Government putting money behind sustainable solutions really is an economic no-brainer. It can see us build a recovery that both tackles the climate emergency and improves people’s lives through cleaner air and lower bills.” We at Climate Action Lewisham agree.