A majority of industry insiders believe the global clean energy transition is set to speed up following the Covid-19 pandemic, shows a poll carried out by Energy Monitor.
Of the respondents, 58.8% say they think the world’s energy systems will transition more quickly away from fossil fuels as countries start to ‘build back better’.
This figure compares with 24.3% who believe the energy transition will slow down, with “growth and jobs taking precedence over climate action”.
A further 16.8% of respondents think the pace of transition will remain unchanged once the pandemic is over.
The poll also asked respondents about the position they occupied in their respective organisations.
Survey data reveals those in senior positions are most optimistic about the pace of the energy transition, with 61.1% of them confident the energy transition will take place more quickly after Covid. This compares with 53.7% of respondents in non-senior positions.
The senior positions cited include supervisors, managers and managing directors, as well as CEOs.
“These results show there is considerable optimism among business leaders that the pandemic can be a springboard to transform our energy systems,” says Energy Monitor editor-in-chief Philippa Nuttall Jones.
“Business leaders increasingly understand an accelerated transition makes most sense for the climate and the economy as we recover from Covid. But there needs to be a greater consensus among governments that recovery packages must genuinely be focused on building back better if this accelerated transition is to become reality.”
Energy Monitor‘s analysis of recovery packages in March showed major economies have invested significant funds in green stimulus with particularly high investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and hydrogen in European countries. But, at the same time, billions of euros have been directed towards fossil fuel-intensive industries with few environmental conditions attached.
Nick Ferris is a data journalist based in London.