/ 14 October 2021

Up for the challenge?

Image source: Unsplash
Image source: Unsplash

They are 2 of the biggest issues on the world’s plate right now: boosting the global economy and limiting climate change. And yesterday, 2 big reports dropped that highlight how hard doing both will be.

Check your tone, thank you very much…On the economy, the International Monetary Fund trimmed its 2021 global growth forecast to 5.9% from 6.0%. No biggie, but for Australia, the IMF reduced its 5.3% prediction to 3.5% – the largest country downgrade of its new outlook. COVID wreaked a lot more havoc since June than was expected, and across the board, nations will need to work hard to get their economies revving in 2022. And on climate change, the International Energy Agency has refreshed its stark warning to world leaders ahead of the COP26 Glasgow summit. We’re not even close to being on track to achieve the Paris agreement target of limiting average global warming to 1.5C. And looking ahead, investment in clean energy and the phasing out of fossil fuels must be rapidly accelerated, it says.

The trick is walking and chewing gum at the same time. Or, to be specific, it’s growing economies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the economic side, things are happening. The global economy is experiencing its strongest rebound since WWII. But that rebound is causing spikes in demand for fossil fuels with renewable energy sources not ready to be the answer. And that’s just one environmental consequence of boosting economic activity… Countries are being asked to make deeper short term emissions reductions, so it’s what’s known as a dilemma… For Australia’s part, the IMF said there are economic opportunities from going green, but we will need to make some dramatic changes if we are to remove a big chunk of emissions by 2030. 

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