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May 14, 2020

Pandemic’s Transformative Impact on Clean Energy: That’s Up for Debate

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

In a post-pandemic world, are declining oil prices, falling greenhouse gas emissions, and an expected drop in global energy demand a glimpse of a globe transformed by perhaps the worst public health emergency in the past 100 years? Will it spur lawmakers and policy experts to use the crisis to steer toward more environmentally friendly policies? Or will efforts to ramp up a quick economic recovery lead to new erosion of environmental rules?

NJ Spotlight reported on a trio of Duke University energy scholars who debated those issues during a webinar on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on energy and the environment. The energy scholars involved in the webinar were: Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Brian Murray, director of the Duke University Energy Initiative; and Drew Shindell, professor of earth science at the Nicholas School of the Environment.