Clean Industries Must Lead Economic Comeback, Energy Agency Says

Clean Industries Must Lead Economic Comeback, Energy Agency Says
International group says COVID-19 crisis gives governments a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot economies" through clean energy investments.

As the coronavirus pandemic has filled hospitals, challenged populations and decimated economies, it may be opening a door for a new, sustainable future.

That is the hope at least for the International Energy Agency, which on Thursday released a "Special Report on Sustainable Recovery" from the economic meltdown due to COVID-19.

The Paris-based, 30-nation organization is calling for global investments of potentially trillions of dollars in clean energy technologies to broaden the recovery from the worst global economic shock since the 1930s.

Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, says the crisis gives governments a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot their economies" by transitioning from fossil fuels to "a cleaner energy future."

Birol said, "We are putting on the table a road map how to get out of this crisis in a better shape. In a better shape means, with a much more modern, cleaner and resilient energy system but - at the same time - while energy policies give a boost to economic growth and help to create new jobs."     

The IEA released this promotional video with its report. It calls for directing economic recovery investments into sustainable clean technologies. The goal is to modernize building construction, transportation systems and the electrical grid while conserving fuel and curbing carbon emissions.

The group says the plan could add more than 1 percent annual growth to the economic recovery from the pandemic. It says that would create or save 9 million jobs a year and clear the skies of 4.5 billion tons of carbon pollutants.