Post-virus shift can boost renewables

Published onJune 18, 2020

Residents in many of Asean’s most polluted cities have been delighted to observe significant decreases in pollution levels as a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures that have disrupted the economy, and thus many pollution-causing activities. However, as governments begin lifting restrictions and business activities return, so too will the demand for energy. Economic recovery could see the levels of CO2 emissions bouncing back very quickly. Indeed, global data from late last month shows an all-time high for levels of CO2 as countries start to reopen the economies. However, with all the tragedy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps there can be a silver lining in terms of how we navigate Asean’s energy transition if we can embrace renewable energy (RE) and clean technologies. Covid-19 seems to be accelerating the adoption of several pre-pandemic trends like digitalisation and robotics. Perhaps decarbonisation can be another.