COVID-19 and Climate Change: Sustainable Stimulus and the Digital Shift
May 19, 2020
You may have seen satellite images showing dramatic drops in air pollution in COVID-19 hotspots across the globe. Although the tale of the coronavirus has thus far been dreary, the pandemic has highlighted some key weaknesses in our economy and created an opportunity for sustainable solutions to be popularized.
This was supposed to be a pivotal year for addressing climate change; 196 countries were ramping up to present plans that would reduce their emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Concern the spike in emissions following the recession will actually put us in a worse position than prior to the outbreak is prominent among environmentalists.
This calm before the storm is a make or break moment for achieving sustainability in the global economy.
Here is an opportunity to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy alternatives, such as solar and wind. This can be achieved by ensuring economic stimulus programs prioritize investments in cleaner energy and by supporting businesses in carbon-intensive sectors to make drastic cuts to emissions. Similarly, banks might be required to invest less in fossil fuel and more in sectors targeting climate change mitigation.
Inadvertently, the pandemic has also created the necessary incentive to expand digital capabilities. An abrupt halt to business saw many companies refine digital frameworks for maximum efficiency, enabling operations to continue whilst employees work from home. Now, we’ve proven to both businesses and consumers alike that a collective digital shift has high potential where automation and distance collaboration are explored.
The power now lies with governments of the 196 countries performing under the Paris Agreement and international corporate leaders to ignite a digital shift within respective industry standards. We’re excited to see the changes that this change in pace and renewed sense of community will mean for the pursuit of sustainability in the global economy.