Climate Change: Lessons to learn from the corona crisis
Can we learn anything from how we tackle the corona crisis and apply those lessons in tackling climate change? On May 6th, Frank Pierie gave an Enerbeers lecture on the similarities and differences between the coronavirus crisis and the ongoing climate crisis. The most important lesson that we can learn is that apparently it is possible for governments to take quick and drastic measures in a crisis, as long as there is an acute crisis happening or about to happen. Moreover, we should use this temporary halt in our economy to think about how we can design our economic system such that our future is spared of a climate crisis. Right now, the climate seems to benefit from the corona lockdown measures.
An interesting group discussion leads to the conclusion that it is also very likely that a rebound effect will happen after the crisis is over. Countries will try to boost their economy, and previous crises have shown that this will lead in a vast increase in CO2 emissions and energy use. A little more division was on the actual execution of the measures. What specific measures should the EU and it’s countries take to combat climate change? Should we (as EU commissioner for the New Green Deal Frans Timmermans proposes) use the corona crisis to transfer to a fully circular economy? Or, should we first try to use less intense measures, like a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme?
We do not know the solution either, but it sparks hope that governments are able to take quick measures in times of a crisis. Let’s hope that with climate change, they act before it is too late.