Last year was a difficult time globally as the world faced a pandemic yet to end. Many things changed in the health sector, education, transport, energy, and the general economy. We saw people work at home while companies slashed some of their workers due to challenging times. It also took the energy sector in a different direction as it halted the plans to transit to clean energy since some companies shut down. Experts globally argue that the planet seemed to stop after the pandemic started, with different sectors stagnating.
This year different governments and sectors work to go beyond what the pandemic cost the nations. However, the Covid-19 crisis aggravates the divide between frontrunners and laggards in the energy transition sector. In a recent report from Potsdam Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, researchers wrote an overview of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the energy sector. Statics show that low and middle-class countries need support to shift from fossil fuels.
These crises will increase the existing imbalance in the energy transition sector. However, despite the pandemic, the frontrunners will continue moving forward to clean energy while the laggards will fall behind, creating an enormous gap between the two classes. Europe is one of the continents showing great results from the green deal, even encouraging sluggish Poland to move forward to transit to clean energy. For the low and middle-class countries, they face a financial crisis making it hard to invest in renewable energy; for instance, in Latin America, activities in renewable energy have ceased.
The pandemic has increased the dependency on fossil fuels, especially for nations with economics gaining from fossil fuels where the governments have placed support to these sectors. Such a situation is the case in Indonesia. The government has given the coal industry sector support by awarding tax breaks and low regulatory requirements to replace fossil fuels that go down the drain.
Some big nations like the USA and Canada have contradictory reports. The countries were hit hard by the pandemic pledging to support the fossil fuel sector to recover from the crisis. However, some states like California are moving further away from the fossil fuel sector. Besides, China is balanced by having provincial governments backing up oil refineries and coal-fired power firms while the central government is working to increase the clean energy sector target. The global south crisis has fueled the existing challenges in clean energy projects, and failing government returns is concerned with the sustainability of debt burdens.
Scientists and policymakers have to support the energy transition in less developed countries which the planet wants to clean the environment. And it is the right time for energy sectors to address fuel dependency at the International level.