Exploring the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global energy markets, energy resilience, and climate change

Energy security remains a major area of attention and the crisis highlights the critical value of electricity infrastructure and know-how, underpinning the response to the coronavirus pandemic. It demonstrates the central role and importance of electricity, and what policy makers need to do in order to ensure that current and future systems remain reliable even as they are transformed by the rise of clean energy technologies.

And as governments respond to these interlinked crises, they must not lose sight of a major challenge of our time: clean energy transitions. Governments are drawing up stimulus plans in an effort to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus. These packages offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities.

The IEA is providing up-to-date data and rigorous analysis on the effects of the crisis, and recommendations for how governments and industry can make smart decisions that will lead to the affordable, secure and sustainable energy systems of the future.

Millions of people are now confined to their homes, resorting to teleworking to do their jobs, e-commerce sites to do their shopping, and streaming video platforms to find entertainment. A reliable electricity supply underpins all of these services, as well as powering the devices most of us take for granted such as fridges, washing machines and light bulbs.

“The huge disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has highlighted how much modern societies rely on electricity.” – Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director.

Global oil and gas markets are facing an unprecedented situation: demand is collapsing because of the impact of the coronavirus while supply, already overabundant, is significantly increasing.

The IEA is providing updated analysis and data on the impact of the pandemic on energy markets, in particular oil markets, through our regular market analysis, commentaries, and our monthly Oil Market Report.

The threat posed by climate change remains even as governments around the world focus their efforts on the current health and economic crisis. But today’s crisis should not compromise global efforts to tackle the world’s inescapable challenge of climate change.

Governments can use the current situation to step up their climate ambitions and launch sustainable stimulus packages focused on clean energy technologies. The coronavirus crisis is already doing significant damage around the world. Rather than compounding the tragedy by allowing it to hinder clean energy transitions, we need to seize the opportunity to help accelerate them.

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