CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – A CROSSROADS FOR OUR CLIMATE
The restrictions resulting from COVID-19 have involved major changes to our society and have impacted greenhouse gas emissions as well. Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 are expected to be up to 7 percent lower than in the previous year, according to studies from UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme1). The UN’s report emphasises that the 1.5-degree target may be within reach if the recovery following the pandemic focuses on green solutions. According to the report, targeted support measures focusing on fossil-free activities, for example, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 percent by 2030. This could give a 66 percent chance of meeting the target, according to researchers’ calculations.
Despite the world’s uncertain economic situation as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, global renewable energy development was strong in 2020. The International Energy Agency, IEA, notes that the expansion of renewable sources increased by seven percent in 2020 and predicts even stronger development of 10 percent in 2021, primarily as a result of the expansion of wind power and solar power in India and the EU. In four years’ time, in 2025, the IEA is expecting renewable sources to have overtaken coal on a global level and represent one-third of electricity production.