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Coronavirus poses threat to climate action, says watchdog

(The Guardian, 12 Mar 2020) IEA warns that Covid-19 could cause a slowdown in world’s clean energy transition

The coronavirus health crisis may lead to a slump in global carbon emissions this year but the outbreak poses a threat to long-term climate action by undermining investment in clean energy, according to the global energy watchdog.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects the economic fallout of Covid-19 to wipe out the world’s oil demand growth for the year ahead, which should cap the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to the climate crisis.

But Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director, has warned the outbreak could spell a slowdown in the world’s clean energy transition unless governments use green investments to help support economic growth through the global slowdown.

“There is nothing to celebrate in a likely decline in emissions driven by economic crisis because in the absence of the right policies and structural measures this decline will not be sustainable,” he said.

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The Guardian, 12 Mar 2020: Coronavirus poses threat to climate action, says watchdog