Report: Coronavirus is a make-or-break moment for climate change, economists say

Grist discusses why Coronavirus is a make-or-break moment for climate change, economists say.

A decade ago, as world economies clawed their way back from the global financial crisis of 2008, climate experts pushed nations to adopt green spending plans that would boost renewable energy and cut fossil-fuel emissions. Now, as countries face crumbling financial markets and skyrocketing unemployment, a group of leading economists warns that the coronavirus pandemic could be our last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The economists, including the Nobel Prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz, argue that the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic stimulus packages could help the climate — if lawmakers make the right choices. “The recovery packages can either kill these two birds with one stone — setting the global economy on a pathway towards net-zero emissions — or lock us into a fossil system from which it will be nearly impossible to escape,” they write in a working paper from the University of Oxford, released online last week.

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