The health, economic and social crisis triggered by the pandemic will certainly keep us busy for a long time. If one believes many sensible people, however, that is only a foretaste of the consequences that unabated progressive climate change will have. Knowing about everything that was previously difficult to imagine that came to light in the corona crisis, something should urgently be done to reduce global CO2- drastically reduce emissions.
So far, the emphasis has primarily been on the word should. Because the majority of Western democracies seem to find it difficult to do with prevention, which costs something today and may not be useful until tomorrow. It is unreasonable. Because, as the pandemic shows, the costs of the crisis, including democratic impositions, as the German Chancellor Merkel called the inevitable curtailment of fundamental rights, are not in a favorable relation to the effort involved in forward-looking, albeit sometimes unpopular, action.
Paradoxically, the fact that this could be different with climate change is also due to the corona crisis. Instead of moving from long-term intentions to medium-term goals to short-term action as before with steadily decreasing ambition, two birds should now be killed with one stone: In the sense of green recovery, overcoming crisis A ideally also serves to prevent crisis B The key word was given by EU Commission President von der Leyen with the European Green Deal, which aims to achieve a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. And not only that: even the large numbers are much less frightening today. Because while the European Green Deal - in retrospect “only” - should cost one trillion euros within the next decade, hardly anyone currently has an overview of the fantastic trillions that are being put on the table by states and financial institutions worldwide for the current crisis management.
It should be a little irritating that there is no correct roadmap for either the Green Deal or global Green Recovery. We know, for example, from the experience of global development efforts that, to put it casually, success cannot be bought. It has always been said here that there is actually no lack of good money, but rather good measures. It is unlikely that the latter will suddenly fall from the sky in large numbers and in high quality in the project of the century climate change - if only because in many ways there is no consensus on what the right path should look like and which technologies it should be based on.
It is not yet foreseeable whether the pandemic will help to sharpen the focus on the essentials and to correctly answer important questions about the future. In any case, one thing is certain: it is cheaper to save the world than to crash it into a wall.
Photo: Mihai M. Mitrea