Invited Opinion piece "Cazcarro, I., Duarte, R., Cristina S. and A. Serrano, “The impact of Covid-19 on carbon emissions and possibilities with the EU stimulus packages”, Sustainable Future Policy Lab: Opinions, 2020-004."
The Covid-19 lockdowns led to a significant fall in carbon dioxide emissions across the globe in early April 2020. Estimates suggest a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of around 5-7% over the previous year (Le Quéré et al., 2020). This `low’ level of carbon emissions did not happen for more than a decade, and was seen the last time in 2006.
In a recent contribution published in the journal Environmental & Resource Economics (Schumacher et al., 2020), we estimate the impact on emission reductions from demand shocks that originated in the EU (plus UK) in 2020. We estimate that these led to CO2 emission reductions (and impacted other emissions such as SOx, NOx) of around 6% for the EU and about 1% globally (considering only changes in the EU+UK). These estimates result based on data and predictions of demand reductions using the Eurostat Spring Forecast and changes in private consumption patterns, as well as in changes to the use of transport during the lockdowns.