Climate deniers have been hanging out for the United Nations’ next big summit to fail. In a sense, the coronavirus and its induced policy responses have more than satisfied their wildest dreams, precipitating a global recession that they no doubt hope has pushed the issue of the low-carbon transition well down the political and policy agenda.
The next round of international climate negotiations – the so-called COP26 in Scotland – has been delayed until 2021. Presumably, climate sceptics hope governments and policy authorities will now be consumed by, in the words of our prime minister, the need to “cushion” the impact of the recession and ensure “a bounce back on the other side”.
Deniers argue that further disruption to economies and societies will be avoided at all costs.
Sorry to be the harbinger of denier disappointment, but there is every reason to expect that the virus crisis will strengthen and accelerate the imperative to transition to a low-carbon world by mid-century.