University of Oulu

Philippe Le Billon, Païvi Lujala, Devyani Singh, Vance Culbert & Berit Kristoffersen (2021) Fossil fuels, climate change, and the COVID-19 crisis: pathways for a just and green post-pandemic recovery, Climate Policy, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2021.1965524

Fossil fuels, climate change, and the COVID-19 crisis : pathways for a just and green post-pandemic recovery

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Author: Le Billon, Philippe1; Lujala, Païvi2; Singh, Devyani3;
Organizations: 1The University of British Columbia, Geography, Vancouver Canada
2University of Oulu Faculty of Science, Geography Research Unit, Oulu, Finland
3Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Sustainable Energy Development, Harrisburg, United States
4Climate and Sustainability, Geneva, Switzerland
5UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-08-16


A climate-positive COVID-19 recovery can accelerate the energy transition away from fossil fuels. Yet, current assessments of recovery stimulus programs suggest that the most fossil fuel producers are more likely to take on a ‘dirty’ recovery path out of the pandemic than a ‘green’ one. Such a path will postpone climate action and entrench fossil fuel dependence. To change course, fossil fuel producers have to get on board of a ‘green recovery’. For this, cooperative international efforts mobilizing both fossil fuel consumers and producers need to promote ‘just transition’ policies that increase support for a green shift among fossil fuel companies and producing countries, including fossil fuel exporters. In turn, fossil fuel producers should leverage the opportunity of stimulus packages to reduce their fossil fuel production dependence and help accelerate an energy transition through supply-side measures. A combination of ‘green’ investments and ‘just’ transition reforms could help enroll fossil fuel producers into a climate-friendly post-COVID recovery.

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Series: Climate policy
ISSN: 1469-3062
ISSN-E: 1752-7457
ISSN-L: 1469-3062
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2021.1965524
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Climate Policy on 16 Aug 2021, available online: