The Covid-19 crisis and the lockdowns and factory closures now sweeping economies are certain to have an impact on Europe's energy transition – and a war of words is already underway over what form that impact should take.

Dirk Messner, the president of Germany’s influential environmental protection agency (UBA) in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Monday warned that once thoughts turn to recovery, shocked governments and populations may not want to burden the economy with ambitious environmental policies.