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How COVID-19 Has Accelerated Interest In Environmental Issues

Electric vehicle sales and renewable energy demand have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how it has accelerated interest in environmental issues

Fri Aug 14 2020



The Tesla Model 3—the high tech, electric sedan car from the Californian electric vehicle startup Tesla. And in April and May 2020, the best-selling car in the UK. 

The market share of electric vehicles (EV) has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic to a record-high of 3% globally. It’s as high as 17% in countries like the UK.

This phenomenon doesn’t stop at cars. Demand for renewable energy and clean technologies has increased during the pandemic. In the first 10 weeks of lockdown, while global energy demand dropped by 8%, the US saw renewable energy consumption increase by 40%. India saw a 45% increase. 

Environmental issues have dominated the agenda and emerged from the rubble of 2020 with renewed importance and urgency. COVID-19 been a catalyst for interest in environmental issues in three ways.

It has changed our attitude towards environmental issues

In most cases, reducing your carbon footprint during the lockdown hasn’t been a choice. International flights have ground to a halt, driving has been limited to short and necessary excursions, and many of the global supply chains that contribute to carbon emissions have been disrupted.

It seems for many, changing consumer behaviors around the environment has been an active choice: a result of a change in attitude.

The pandemic has shown the disruptive impact of business. Global supply chains and international travel may have sped up the spread of the virus, and contribute to an increase in carbon emissions. This is perhaps registering for many people business’s association with the increasing threat of climate change.


Source: World Economic Forum, International Energy Agency