January 24, 2021

Coronavirus and climate: Australia’s chance to shift to green energy

The Covid-19 pandemic is a “huge opportunity” to fast-track Australia’s shift towards more renewable energy, climate scientists have told the BBC.

But scientists say that momentum risks being lost because of the virus.

Instead, as Australia looks for ways to revive its economy, innovations around solar, wind and hydroelectric projects should be central, they say.

The devastating summer of blazes – driven by drought and rising temperatures – killed 33 people and destroyed about 3,000 homes. Millions of hectares of bush, forest and parks burned.

Prof Mark Howden of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University said memories of “the droughts and the fires and the smoke haze across major cities have dissipated with the arrival of Covid-19”.

“And clearly the momentum for change in relation to climate here in Australia has dissipated quite considerably too.”

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