The COVID-19 pandemic is entering its second phase as countries gradually reopen their economies and loosen or even revoke strict social-distancing measures. Yet, barring the arrival of an effective, universally available therapy or vaccine, the transition back to “normal” will be more aspirational than real.
COVID-19 has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide, made millions more ill, and continues to wreak havoc. But as the saying goes – and without wishing to downplay this human tragedy in any way – it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.
The coronavirus crisis has severely affected livelihoods, local industries and the economy in general. It has also disrupted world trade, supply chains and also the production of food and agricultural products and commodities. According to Samarendu Mohanty, Asia Regional Director at the International Potato Center, the production of wheat and rice in Asia would be heavily impacted if lockdowns to curb the pandemic and virus restrictions continue to be enforced.
Malaysia’s solar photovoltaics (PV) industry is on the rise thanks to strengthening government support, growing investor confidence and reducing costs.Already ASEAN’s biggest solar PV employers, Malaysia’s solar sector is well poised for more growth given the favourable conditions that are developing. Besides having relatively high irradiation levels, Malaysia already has an established solar manufacturing sector, although most of the solar equipment used is exported at present.“The
Among its many other effects, the COVID-19 crisis has intensified the pre-existing geopolitical rivalry between China and the United States (US). This tension has led many to warn of the “Thucydides trap,” a term coined by Harvard’s Graham T Allison to refer to the heightened risk of conflict when an emerging power threatens to displace an established one.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the fragility of the world order. Governments have sought to limit the spread of the virus through lockdowns and travel restrictions, which have stalled economies and created a global recession. Poorer countries, lacking the resources and resilience to mitigate the pandemic, will be hit hardest. Like climate change, COVID-19 will exacerbate global inequalities.That parallel offers valuable lessons.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought economies around the world to a standstill. Huge swaths of manufacturing have been idled, and sectors such as aviation and tourism are largely shuttered. Amid all the economic ruin, some have pointed to a supposed silver lining: cleaner air.
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest global challenges in generations. Governments and monetary authorities are correctly using every policy lever at their disposal to prevent a grave public-health emergency from becoming an even deeper economic, political, and social crisis.
22 April marked the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, which was strikingly different from previous years. Countries across the planet are grappling with an unprecedent situation in which a seemingly innocuous virus illness spread into a global pandemic in less than 90 days. It has infected more than 2.4 million people in more than 200 countries, claimed over 170,000 lives, and has brought most economic activity to a standstill.
If the current coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our interconnected, globalised economies and societies are highly vulnerable to sudden shocks.The COVID-19 outbreak, and the horrendous scale of its impact, was an unforeseeable “black swan” event. Right now, the imperative is to fast-track packages and policies that help to fight the health crisis, protect the vulnerable, and pave the way to restarting our economies once the pandemic is past its peak.
While ASEAN member countries race to seize market share amidst the renewable energy boom in the region, Indonesia - as the biggest energy user - does not seem to realise what its missing. Vietnam reached 5.5 gigawatt (GW) installed solar PV capacity in 2019 from only 134 megawatt (MW) in 2018. Thailand held the record both, for wind and solar capacity growth in 2018 before it was overtaken by Vietnam.