Previous financial shocks, such as the collapse of the former Soviet Union or the 1970s and 1980s oil crises, also had periods with lower or negative growth, but growth soon returned. At best, a financial crisis delays emissions growth a few years. Structural changes may happen, such as the shift to nuclear energy after the oil crises, but evidence suggests emissions continue to grow. However, the economic legacy of the coronavirus might also be very different to the GFC. It looks more like a slow burner, with a drop in productivity over an extended period rather than widespread job losses in the short term.

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