SUMMARY – Extract
The COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with an unprecedented policy challenge for effective economic stimulus in unchartered territory: not only will it have a severe impact on the global economy likely to exceed that of both the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the Great Depression, it will take place against the backdrop of the ongoing climate crisis.
In acknowledging the magnitude of this unprecedented challenge, the priority for governments must first be the immediate emergency response focussing on saving lives, supporting health infrastructure, food availability, and the many other urgent social and economic support measures such as short-term job allowances, direct cash handouts to citizens, or targeted liquidity support to SMEs.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are closely interlinked, in that the pandemic seriously affects economies and therefore greenhouse gas emissions, making future developments and the resulting emissions gap very uncertain. The question of how the economic recovery is designed remains crucial in shaping the long-term pathways for emissions and determining whether the Paris Agreement’s 1.5?C temperature limit can be achieved.
COVID19 could well exacerbate climate change impacts as governments divert some of the resources tagged for climate change to address the pandemic. In the worst-case scenario, economic stimulus will be obtained at the expense of already-achieved climate policies.
SOURCE: “A Government Roadmap for Addressing the Climate and Post COVID-19 Economic Crises.” Climate Action Tracker, April 2020.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia