Record drop in energy investment, warns International Energy Agency

BBC News/27-05-2020

LONDON: The coronavirus crisis is causing the biggest fall in global energy investment in history. Before the pandemic, funding was set to rise 2%, but now it’s predicted to plunge 20%, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). Fossil fuels are hit hardest, with a 30% funding drop expected for oil and a 15% fall for coal. Renewables investment is down 10% – and it’s only about half what’s needed to combat climate change. Due to coronavirus lockdown measures imposed by many countries, for the time being, the fall in investment is leading to a drop in planet-heating carbon emissions. But the IEA warns that that use of fossil fuels is likely to rebound when the crisis is over, leading to a spike in CO2. One reason is because China and other Asian nations are putting in orders now for a new generation of coal-fired power plants to supply energy in the future. “We see a historical decline in emissions, but unless we have the right economic recovery packages, we might see emissions again skyrocket and the decline of this year would be completely wasted,” the IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol told the BBC. “Remember the 2008-2009 crashes. We immediately saw a decline in emissions, but afterwards it rebounded. We must learn from history.”