WT! -Climate action takes backseat as world fights virus

Watch This! Civil Society Newsletter

Dear members and colleagues,

I hope this email finds you safe and healthy. This is the latest edition of the Watch This! – CMW’s civil society newsletter and it comes amid a time of uncertainly for many throughout the world. The selection of content for this quarterly edition had until only a few weeks ago, a very different focus. Alas, the current health crisis has been so impacting that there is little bandwidth available for more ‘regular’ climate content, so I have tried to share some relevant news.

Stay safe & best wishes


When COVID-19 met the EU ETS by Sam van den Plas

The EU carbon market prices are plummeting as a result of the economic shutdown, underlining the need to strengthen the scheme to better sustain similar shocks in the future. No efforts should be spared to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and it will be critical to ensure that European climate policies are not weakened and stimulus packages also support the EU Green Deal.

The coronavirus epidemic is being felt across the world. Governments are rightly taking unprecedented measures to enforce social distancing, the only way to slow down the spread of the virus.

The widespread lockdown measures have led to an economic slowdown which, together with market speculation,  has sent the carbon price under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in a nosedive.  

As of 25 March, the price has dropped by almost 40% to a near two-year low just above €15/ton CO2.  

Read more here

COP26 in the year of health emergency – Briefing by  Ed King Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC)

COP26 + COVID19 – Question & Answers 

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen, major sporting, cultural and political events are either being postponed or cancelled. The UN’s climate body has announced it will not hold any physical meetings in Bonn and elsewhere up to the end of April 2020, and official missions have been suspended. Speculation is naturally mounting on whether October’s COP15 UN biodiversity summit in Kunming, China and November’s COP26 UN climate summit set for November could be cancelled or postponed.

What is the UK government saying?

18/3: “We continue to work towards hosting the event in Glasgow in November, which is eight months away. Given this is an evolving situation we are keeping the situation under careful review and are in frequent contact with the UN, Chile (as current COP Presidents) and other partners.”

19/3: In a Wednesday briefing, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The reality is we are waiting to see right now quite what the timings are going to be on the coronavirus. It (@COP26) might be doable.”

Read full media briefing here

Climate action: learning from the corona response  by Andrew Coiley

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

— George Santayana  

Last week the City of New York reported a 50% increase in the number of cyclists traveling in and around the city to avoid using modes of transportation with higher risk virus spread. Almost overnight the culture of face-to-face professional and social meetings has been all but suspended indefinitely. And as for the impact COVID-19 is having on the aviation industry, well, take a moment and look to the sky for the next airplane you see or hear overhead…. Exactly, not a chemtrail to be seen!

As a result of the curbs on our freedom of movement and assembly, we are learning to adapt at lightning speed. More of us are choosing fresh air peddle-power over stuffy public transportation and even sharing cars. Families and friends are meeting virtually through online platforms and mobile applications. It’s not always perfect, but we’re innovating and this is crucially important for the future deployment of these sorts of connective technologies that move us beyond high carbon physical travel. 

Read in full here

In the media 

Climate home News – will the crisis in the aviation sector impact its future climate goals under the ICAO’s offsetting scheme  https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/03/13/coronavirus-may-toughen-airlines-goals-curbing-emissions-2020s/

Scientific American – U.N. Shifts from Climate Change to Coronavirus 


Green Focus Pledged for EU’s Virus Recovery Plan https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-26/green-focus-likely-for-european-union-s-virus-recovery-plan 

Coronavirus: Lockdowns continue to suppress European pollution https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52065140

EXPLAINER: How the ECB can print ‘green money’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/linksdossier/explainer-how-the-ecb-can-print-green-money/

For more indepth climate stories from CMW check out our monthly newsletter https://carbonmarketwatch.org/2020/03/26/carbon-market-watch-newsletter-march-2020/ or by visiting our website https://carbonmarketwatch.org/ 

WT! Xtra

Video: Check out satilite imagry on how China’s lockdown has had an impact on air quality in https://www.space.com/coronavirus-pollution-emissions-drop-china-italy-satellite-views.html?jwsource=cl  (space.com)

Twitter: The UN aviation body @icao is about to take a decision on what airlines will buy to offset their #pollution under their future #CarbonMarket … Why is this important & what do we need? https://twitter.com/CarbonMrktWatch/status/1234760203997978624?s=20 

Youtube: Inspiring video of singers and musicians on the balconies across Italy lifting spirits of those under strict isolation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDRiINXik00



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