The health and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed vulnerabilities of our societies and the necessity of economic resilience. Policymakers must ensure their responses to COVID do not put people’s health at greater risk and worsen other crises, notably climate change.
To revitalize the economy, governments should be prioritising clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related infrastructure needs like electrification, energy storage, and smart grid infrastructure. This would provide an important boost for employment; – models from the US indicate that for $1m invested in renewables generates 7.49 full-time jobs, and 7.72 in energy efficiency. In comparison, the same investment only provides 2.65 jobs in fossil fuels.
This policy manual outlines how, under pressure, the oil and gas industry slows down the needed economic revitalization, exploits the COVID crisis financially, and undermines the broader energy transition. It presents key recommendations for how the recovery period can be a launch point for a phase-out of the fossil fuel sector in line with the critical climate limit, and simultaneously support a just and sustainable reboot to a low carbon economy.