The Pathway Towards Decarbonisation—Message from Scientists Towards Green Recovery
The spread of COVID-19 and extreme weather, such as heavy rainfall, are greatly impacting economic activities and daily lives. Worse yet, if temperatures continue to rise, more infectious diseases are predicted to emerge. Nowadays, it has become necessary to push the idea that human lives precede economic priorities. Under these circumstances, some countries and local governments have already begun moving towards a green recovery, with decarbonisation in mind.
The European Commission unveiled the European Green Deal in December 2019, motivated to turn environmental and climate challenges in policy areas into opportunities. It showed specific measures, such as raising the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, implementing necessary legislation, allocating funding, and showing steps that could be taken. Each member of the European Union is implementing green recovery measures with climate change countermeasures in mind.
If the current trend of greenhouse gas emissions continues, we will see the average global temperature rise by 1.5 degrees as early as 2030. We need to respond to climate change urgently, but we face a major challenge when trying to promote decarbonisation in the current situation. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is being felt across the whole world, and we must keep this in mind when promoting decarbonisation under the name of green recovery.
IGES serves as the Secretariat for the International Research Network for Low Carbon Societies (LCS-RNet), and has facilitated discussions on how to make transitions towards realising low-carbon and decarbonised societies at its annual meetings held 11 times in the past to date.
At this session, together with international experts involved in decarbonisation research (in Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK), we will focus on the economic and social impacts caused by COVID-19 crisis and climate change, such as transition in industry sector, employment, and finance. We will then discuss the role of science, by exchanging views on how we can respond to the on-going crisis in a timely and appropriate manner, and how science can contribute to the re-design of our societies in the long run.