In the wake of the historic global economic shutdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, governments are unleashing trillions of dollars in a bid to create jobs and spur economic recovery. The scale of this stimulus is unprecedented, in some cases amounting to more than 10% of countries’ gross domestic product. At the same time, an overwhelming number of economists, finance ministers, and business leaders are saying that much of that money needs to help—and certainly not hinder—our ability to cut emissions.
If that advice is heeded, these funds will go to emerging technologies that would have sounded like science fiction not so long ago. Now they have ambitions to help lower greenhouse gas emissions on an industrial scale.
Leading the way is the European Union, which was planning a green transformation even before the outbreak began. It aims to make the 27-member bloc the first carbon neutral continent by 2050, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that.