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Green Recovery and C change 10 August 2020

Coronavirus: Green recovery ‘could prevent 0.3C’ of warming by 2050 (via Carbon Brief)

By Josh Gabbatiss

The world could avoid 0.3C of global warming by the middle of the century if governments invest in a strong “green recovery” from coronavirus, according to a new study.

With existing policies likely to push the temperature rise beyond 1.5C by 2050, the lead author tells Carbon Brief the pandemic provides a “make or break” opportunity to change course and meet the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement.

Global emissions have seen a significant, but temporary drop as lockdowns confined people to their homes and travel came to a standstill. But this temporary dip will only prevent around 0.01C of warming, says the new study in Nature Climate Change.

It models different ways that the world could recover from the Covid-19 crisis, finding lasting climate benefits would only come about with a significant push for low-carbon investment at the expense of fossil fuels. Another researcher tells Carbon Brief such proposals still largely remain to be seen.

Green stimulus

Having first analysed the short-term emissions changes resulting from global lockdowns (see below for details of their methods), the authors use future scenarios to test the impact of different pandemic responses, compared to a hypothetical baseline without coronavirus.

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