Energy Systems Catapult

New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister has reiterated the country’s commitment to green policies, but will other countries follow suit?

Ella Benson Easton, a thematic analyst at GlobalData, says: “COVID-19 has had a dramatic influence on the global economy, sparking fears that the world is set for an unprecedented recession. As some countries begin to ease lockdowns, government priorities when restarting their economies will be a pressing issue.

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“For countries primarily concerned with restarting their economies and returning to normality as swiftly as possible, climate policies may appear of secondary importance. In reality, however, green policies will be critical for a healthy economy over the coming decade. Oil prices have fallen dramatically as a result of the pandemic, and are likely to remain volatile. By contrast, investment in clean energies can provide economic stimulus and develop energy security.

“However, in the APAC region,China is likely to step back its push on green energy. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, GlobalData estimates a 17% decline in China’s solar power capacity addition from original estimates. Estimations for installations in India have also been revised downwards by around 2.3GW from the original 11.3GW.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability was the pre-eminent theme for 2020, both for government and business. Stimulus packages must prioritise sustainability to rebuild robust economies that are well-positioned to succeed, not just in the next couple of months, but over the coming decade.”