Keynote by Ottmar Edenhofer

If anything, the COVID-19 crisis adds another layer to the complexity and urgency of finding effective solutions in the fight against climate change. Although COP 26 has been postponed to 2021, the challenge for the presidents and heads of states set to meet in Scotland remains: They must agree on sufficiently strong plans to keep global greenhouse gas emissions within limits that prevent dangerous climate change – a challenge that was left unresolved in the hallmark 2015 Paris climate agreement and in climate talks since. Emissions cuts in all sectors of the economy will be required as will smart policies and incentives to enables these cuts. Although the massive financial emergency and stimulus packages that are currently put together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be a huge opportunity for driving investment into the zero-carbon transformation, they are also a huge liability if the bulk of the funding goes to high-carbon activities and prolongs their lifetime. How should economic stimulus measures aimed at stabilising the world economy in the COVID-19 crisis be designed and implemented to support the transformation to zero carbon economies? What can the G20 to do inject dynamic and ambition into international climate talks? How can international coordination of carbon pricing systems, together with policies that enable a just zero carbon transition, increase the support for climate action and enable higher level of emission cuts?

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