Using our Pandemic Experience to Accelerate Reduction of Climate Change

The present pandemic has retaught thoughtful people two very important lessons. The first is that nature can completely overturn human society. The second is that humans, when faced with a catastrophe are capable of unimaginable feats. This has happened many times in the past but maybe each generation has to learn these lessons anew. The Pandemic devastated the world economy but our total focus on overcoming this disaster has allowed world technologists to create solutions, in the form of a number of vaccines, in less than a year. Normally this would have taken more than ten years. The disaster that climate change can bring upon the world is very significantly more damaging than covid 19. What is more rectifying the situation will take generations not years, even allowing for improved technologies. In view of the dire situation, surely the world should make a similar effort to accelerate our move to a zero net CO2 economy. This could take a number of forms but as an example The UK could launch a massive programme for major economies to support and finance the rapid development of a low cost net zero carbon fuel. In the case of the vaccines, regulations were streamlined and funds were significantly overinvested in a number of highly risky options, by way of insurance, in the hope that at least one or two options would work. The same strategy should be used with such a fuel programme. There could be no better time for a launch than the COP26 meeting in Glasgow this autumn. There is already a greatly increased interest in investing in such projects but most of all the world has once again realised that nature really can destroy us and that climate change really could be as bad as the doomsters suggest. Both these factors




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