What are the possible effects of the Corona crisis on climate change? Do you have current numbers about Germany, Europe and the world?
In the short term, curbing economic activity as one of the measures necessary to tackle the Corona pandemic will also lead to a decline in “greenhouse gas” emissions. For comparison: During the financial crisis in 2009, the global GDP decreased by about 1.7 percent compared to the previous year. This, in turn, led to a decrease in global emissions resulting from the combustion of traditional energy sources and cement production, by 1.4 percent. Due to the Corona crisis, global GDP is expected to decrease by 2.5 to 3 percent. This could lead to a 2 to 3 percent drop in emissions. However, the financial crisis showed that this decline was a one-time, in the short term, and that it was slight and of no value compared to the general long-term trend. I believe the effects of the Corona crisis and its impact on emissions and climate change will be evident and will continue for the long term.
What are your climate expectations in light of the effects of the Corona crisis?
If behavioral change due to the Corona crisis is of a continuing nature, this could lead to a decrease or increase in emissions, for example through the adoption of more digital conferences on the one hand, and through the increased dependence on private cars instead of public transportation on the other. Moreover, the effects of catching up and compensation for the current closing and inertia period should be expected, which will increase consumption and emissions disproportionately, above average. This is what was also noticed after the financial and monetary crisis. Overall, it is currently uncertain how the corona crisis in the medium and long term will affect greenhouse gas emissions.
From now on, economic stimulus programs designed to restore vigor and vitality to economic life began. What mistakes should be avoided, and what are the rules and foundations that must be established and established?
Because of the different characteristics of the Corona crisis, I find classic stimulus and recovery programs to be of little use. But if stimulus programs are actually approved, then these programs should not include wrong incentives regarding climate policy – as was the case with the disposal premium for old cars during the financial crisis – and the investment programs involved must support the structural transformation necessary to reduce emissions, rather From hindering or burdening this transformation. In order to achieve the goals of the Paris climate treaty, there is still a lot of strenuous effort necessary, in addition to the need to be patient and persistent. Therefore, the biggest mistake could be to retract or mitigate climate policy decisions and actions, and thus the absence of climate policy from view, as happened after the financial crisis, so that more valuable time is wasted. In general, it can be said today: What was true of climate policy before the Corona crisis remains true also after it. At the center of attention must be the issue of imposing prices on CO2.