Dialogue activities in the times of the coronavirus pandemic

The current developments regarding the spread of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions on public life have temporarily forced us to suspend the events of the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change.

The event series Forum Climate Economics has so far been particularly focused on the personal encounter of the participants and was forced to take a break due to the pandemic. On October 12, 2020, the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change will resume the series Forum Climate Economics with adapted formats. The 7th Forum Climate Economics "Fossil Fuel Phase-out and Just Transition” on October 12, 2020 will be held in a condensed form as a “hybrid” event - participation will be possible both online and in person. The forum will be supplemented by the Roundtable Series preceding the 7th Forum Climate Economics, which will take place on October 5 and 6, 2020. It consists of three virtual discussion rounds, which focus on three core issues of the phase-out of fossil fuels. The insights and findings of these roundtables will be incorporated into the discussions at the forum on October 12.

Further dates and events, in particular discussion events, will initially be held in virtual or hybrid formats in the coming period.

Climate economics in the times of COVID-19

The coronavirus crisis leads to restrictions in all sectors and areas of life. At the moment, the protection of the public’s health has shifted to the foreground of the political agenda. Simultaneously, governments use multi-billion-dollar financial aid packages to safe jobs and navigate businesses successfully through the crisis. Side effects on greenhouse gas emissions are already foreseeable; first projections by Agora Energiewende forecast that Germany will probably reach its 2020 climate target because economic activities decrease. To ensure climate protection, however, temporary reductions will not suffice and long-term adjustments in infrastructure, the economy, and behavior will be indispensable. From the viewpoint of climate change economics, many questions arise regarding the long-term influence of the coronavirus crisis on life, work, the economy in Germany and the world and thus greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Will the structural change processes from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and more efficient technologies stifle as prices for fossil fuels and carbon allowances are low? To what extent will the financial stimulus packages keep brown sectors afloat or support sustainable investments?
  • How will the conditions and the volume for investments, especially green investment, change?
  • The current crisis forces people and businesses to reorganize their daily life to be more environmentally- and family-friendly as employees move to home offices and businesses widely implement new communication channels. Can these new experiences drive the change from the old dominant paradigm of working at the office, to new forms of work that require less individual traffic and reduce emissions?
  • The acute threat of the pandemic seems to increase the public’s acceptance of drastic measures that are communicated transparently and supported by easily accessible scientific analyses. Are there lessons to be learned for climate policy?  

Researchers from the funding measure Economics of Climate Change aim to contribute answers to these and related questions. As the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change we want to provide opportunities for exchange and to spark a debate. Stay tuned for more!