International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol called on governments to prepare plans for a post-pandemic "economic recovery" to include support for job losses when confinement measures are eased.
It is time to plan the post-pandemic "economic recovery" the world needs, Birol said Monday.
In an article he shared on his Linkedin account, Birol said he along with government ministers and other leaders in high-level roundtable discussion he co-chaired on Friday reviewed ways on how best to create jobs and spur economic growth through investments in clean energy technologies.
Among the participants were also Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission.
He stressed that the focus of the meeting was on the positive effects of including clean energy investments and policies in national economic stimulus plans and in efforts to return people to work.
"They emphasized that their current priority is addressing the critical public health challenges while minimizing the immediate economic and financial damage," he explained.
A consensus reached during Friday's meeting that showed that energy efficiency, renewables and other dynamic clean energy technologies, such as battery storage and hydrogen, were identified as key areas for action.
"By including them in economic recovery packages, they have opportunities to support existing workforces, create new jobs and drive reductions in emissions," he added.
Birol said the pandemic has made it clearer than ever that reliable energy supplies are indispensable for modern societies to remain resilient in the face of a crisis.
"What is also indispensable is quickly putting greenhouse gas emissions into structural decline in order to steer the world towards meeting international climate goals," he said.
By Sibel Morrow