Pandemic a lost opportunity to speed energy transition, consultancy says

(Reuters, 31 Aug 2021) Though pandemic restrictions created a chance to move towards a greener energy mix, coronavirus recovery packages now see fossil fuel use returning to business as usual

The world has missed an opportunity to speed up the transition from fossil fuel to renewables as economic recovery packages aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 have entrenched the existing system, global energy consultancy DNV said on Tuesday.

The Norway-based firm, which last year forecast oil demand had likely peaked in 2019 thanks to travel restrictions and other means to curb the virus, said its prediction had since become less certain.

"From an energy transition perspective, the pandemic has been a lost opportunity," DNV Chief Executive Remi Eriksen said. "Recovery packages have largely focused on protecting rather than transforming existing industries."

Progress in reducing emissions from hard-to-abate sectors, such as heavy industry, which are responsible for around a quarter of all emissions, was stubbornly slow, DNV said.

Energy-related greenhouse gas emissions were expected to rise by 3% in 2021 from the last year, when they fell about 6%, it said.

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Reuters, 31 Aug 2021: Pandemic a lost opportunity to speed energy transition, consultancy says