Smart investments and viral ideas in pandemic recovery and contagious new tools for deeper, cheaper energy efficiency could speed existing capital flight from fossil fuels. This could help turn pandemic disruptions into durable climate solutions.

Sensitive intervention points, where a small action has a big effect, are well known to amplify change in complex climate systems. They can also abate climate change if exploited in complex socio-economic systems.

We argue that the COVID-19 pandemic may dramatically speed capital flight from the fossil-fuel industries. That flight could be further sped by

  • reemphasizing energy efficiency in recovery investments, and
  • adding some viral contagious design ideas now absent from most efficiency efforts in industry and mobility.


This analysis was authored by Amory Lovins, RMI and Kingsmill Bond, Carbon Tracker and was originally released in Environmental Research Letters.