COVID-19 has bought parts of the economy to a standstill and the costs of furloughing great swathes of the UK workforce must be met. The Bank of England is warning of the deepest recession on record, with the economy on course to shrink 14% resulting in job losses and reduced incomes. Imperial’s academics look at the next steps – and whether the economy can be re-built with cleaner and greener investment.
Climate change and economy linked.
Could the shock of the pandemic, coupled with the experiences of lockdown, translate into a transition to a clean economy. Attitudes towards scientific advice might have changed. New, less polluting ways of working remotely might have been learned. And governments might embark on stimulus spending with a strong emphasis on investments in clean infrastructure and innovation. But, will the extraordinary financial burden of the lockdown constrain such spending, despite best intentions?
Researchers have found that climate-friendly investment policies are the best medicine for a failing economy. Having catalogued more than 700 stimulus policies, conducted a global survey of 231 experts from 53 countries and considered learnings from the 2008 financial crisis, they found that green projects create more jobs and deliver higher short-term returns per dollar spent. As the cost of technologies continues to drop, businesses, consumers and governments save money over the long-term, when compared with traditional fiscal stimulus. “Some of the changes forced upon us by this pandemic, including far more homeworking and far less travel, have inadvertently given us a tantalising glimpse of what a future with quieter, cleaner streets and less stressful commuting might look like.” Dr Ajay Gambhir
Saving your startup
Imperial-backed ventures are showing other startups how to survive the pandemic – thanks to three steps. They demonstrate how, by adapting the revolutionary ‘lean startup methodology’ adopted by many entrepreneurs, you can still succeed despite the crisis. Finding customers virtually, spending downtime on design – and considering a different or digital path all considered.
Prepare for the next crisis
The economic impact of COVID-19 is sobering, far reaching and changing day to day. But could we have foreseen it? In the years since the crisis of 2008, financial institutions have been forced to measure risk in a way that other sectors haven’t. Banks have developed robust stress-testing measures to see how they would respond to a variety of risks and scenarios. But would the wider business world benefit from this rigour? If you can predict what the effects of a crisis might be on a specific business – you can better prepare for the unexpected.
Net-zero emissions economic recovery
Economic growth will be a high priority for all countries in the months and years following COVID-19. The transition to net zero emissions can significantly contribute to the recovery.
Economic impact of COVID-19
Reactions and analysis of the impact of coronavirus on business and the economy with opinion on economic recovery, government spending, interest rates, global supply chains, ability of businesses to respond and adapt – and carbon dividends.
COVID-19 Carbon tax
A carbon tax could both help pay for the enormous costs of the pandemic and encourage “clean” investment. Crucially, it should be levied in a few years’ time, when the UK economy has begun to recover
Coronavirus and consumer behaviour
In the past few months, online search volume for holiday destinations has plummeted – so has digital ad revenue. Consumers are spending more on board games, yeast, and home office furniture.What will be the long-term effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on consumer behaviour?
Why we should stress-test corporations
Fallout from the coronavirus has been punishing: a reduced workforce, a drop in demand, tourism and air travel have been devasted. And the grocery sector has been unprepared for the surge in demand.
Reshaping capital markets to encourage green investment
Political will and significant increase in financial investment in low-carbon infrastructure are key to achieving net-zero carbon, with around $90 trillion is predicted to be needed, globally, before 2030. With a broad-based commitment, the UK can become a world leader in clean energy and profitable decarbonisation.
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