Global Business Daily: World economy facing '$12trn pandemic hit,' BMW to challenge Tesla
Daniel Harries

"We think the output loss for the world over these two years will be $12 trillion. And the balance sheet of insurers are a tiny fraction of that. So a pandemic is a risk that cannot be diversified and therefore it cannot be insured."

Those were the words of insurance giant Swiss Re's CEO Christian Mumenthaler to a Bloomberg financial conference. 

It is perhaps unsurprising that the company that specialises in anticipating and managing risk – from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to risks associated with new technologies - would be the first to put a figure on the cost of the pandemic. 

A Swiss Re spokesperson clarified that the $12 trillion estimate referred to the level of economic output after COVID-19, in comparison with where the global economy would have been had it grown at the average rate before the pandemic hit.

Despite the ongoing economic turbulence of the pandemic, stocks across Europe and the U.S. rallied further on Wednesday, buoyed by the positive news in COVID-19 vaccine development and the relative stability expected from a Joe Biden presidency. 

Beyond the macro-economic and business concerns we have both an interview and a graphic on what could be considered a silver lining of the pandemic – the growth of renewable energy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report on Tuesday, outlining its expectation that green electricity will end coal's 50-year reign as the world's largest power source by 2025.

Scroll down to find out more. 

Enjoy reading,

Daniel Harries 

Digital correspondent

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The German government's council of economic advisers expects Europe's largest economy to shrink by less than initially feared this year thanks to a strong summer, although a second wave of the pandemic is clouding the growth outlook for next year.

Telecom Italia is ready to press ahead with a government-sponsored plan to merge its fixed network infrastructure with that of state-backed rival Open Fiber. 

The European Central Bank will focus on more emergency bond purchases and cheap loans for banks when it puts together its new stimulus package next month, ECB President Christine Lagarde said.

BMW unveiled an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) called the BMW iX, it is planned to go on sale in the U.S. in early 2022 to compete with Tesla for a share of the electric vehicles market. 

Loss-making German airline Lufthansa said it would revive the role of finance chief, and has hired Remco Steenbergen from Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut to fill the post.

China's Alibaba said orders on its e-commerce platforms during the Singles' Day shopping extravaganza had exceeded $70 billion by Wednesday evening. 

EU lawmakers have backed a focused trade deal with the U.S to remove EU tariffs on American lobsters following Democrat Joe Biden's projected win in the U.S. presidential election.

The chief investment officer for BlackRock Alternative Investors said the risk some carbon-heavy assets could become "stranded" because of climate change was a critical issue when assessing deals.



WATCH: The World Bank has published a stark warning on the risk of those already near the breadline falling into poverty in 2020 and 2021. More than 100 million people are at risk of slipping below the poverty line just from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 



The International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report on Tuesday outlining that almost 90 percent of new electricity generation in 2020 will be renewable, with just 10 percent powered by gas and coal. CGTN Europe spoke to Heymi Bahar, a senior analyst at the IEA on the report's findings. 


Are you surprised by the report's findings? 

Well, we are a bit surprised, but it shows very clearly that renewables are resilient to the crisis, almost immune, I will say. We expect in 2020 an increase in new capacity additions by 4 percent. All the fuels are declining, so this is an impressive result for renewables. And China contributes significantly to this jump in 2020. We expect Chinese renewable energy capacity to grow by 50 percent compared with 30 percent in 2019, which is a big jump. 


How much of an impact is the pandemic having on renewables? 

So in terms of the electricity sector, when we look at renewables in electricity, we see very limited impact as our forecast shows that renewables electricity generation will increase by 7 percent, while global energy demand declines by five percent. 

This is an impressive growth compared with the rest of the energy system due to the big shock of COVID-19. However, when you look at the transport and industry and building sector, renewables will also get some kind of a hit different from the electricity. 

As you know, the aviation sector was hit very hard. And also the other transport sectors due to the economic slowdown. So we expect biofuels consumption to decline after two decades of growth, while a smaller decline in renewable heat used in industry will also happen because of the bio energy use in industrial sectors.  


The change in the global energy market could be one of the most significant effects of the pandemic. Despite the looming and ongoing economic uncertainties, investor appetite for renewables remains strong. 

Source(s): Reuters ,AP