At the beginning of 2020, the world's focus was on the ten years left to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). A decade of urgent climate action was necessary to put the world on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. When the SDGs were being crowd-sourced and negotiated, the then-UN Secretary General described sustainable energy as the golden thread that pulled all the other goals together or enabled them. The goal of reliable, affordable, and in the context of climate action, clean energy, lay then at the heart of realizing other SDGs.
But then, despite specific and stark warnings of the risk of a zoonotic disease pandemic, to which no country paid proper heed and adequately prepared, COVID-19 rocked the world.