The economic impact of COVID-19 is expected to be unprecedented, but so are government promises to help economies recover from that impact.
The speed and scale of the response to the pandemic has led to inevitable, unflattering comparisons with responses (or lack thereof) to the climate emergency. The global shutdown caused by COVID-19 has had immediate positive effects on global emissions and local air pollution levels, but these are expected to be largely short term. Longer term, there is scientific evidence that pandemics will increase in frequency on account of climate change, as habitat loss and higher temperatures result in animals and insects coming into closer contact with each other and humans. These factors in combination have led to a growing sense that national and international economic stimulus packages should focus not just on any recovery but on an environmentally sustainable recovery.