According to economics and medical science literature, health issues are connected to airborne pollutants. However, the complex natural processes underlying this phenomenon are often a drawback for policymakers in designing and implementing interventions aimed at reducing air pollution in urban areas (e.g. traffic restrictions). The complete lockdown which followed the COVID-19 outburst in Italy – during which both people movements and the economy were almost frozen – provides a unique natural experiment to assess the relations existing between local air pollution and different emission sources. This study used machine learning methods to estimate the change in concentrations for major pollutants induced by the lockdown in Lombardy and shows that the lockdown reduced concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx), but not fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). This is consistent with the reduction in road traffic, but small changes in emission from building heating. Authors then computed the estimated life-years saved due to the improved air quality.
The Impacts of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Air Pollution in Lombardia
June 30, 2020
4 p.m. — 5 p.m.
Working Paper — Sep 11, 2020
The Role of Flexibility and Planning in Repayment Discipline: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Pay-as-You-Go Off-Grid Electricity
This new working paper from the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics & the Environment examines flexible payment schedules for solar systems in Sindh, Pakistan. The paper finds that flexibility and adequate planning may help poor households pay their energy bills for sustainable off-grid energy solutions.
Press Release — Jul 14, 2020
New Episode of Resources Radio: “Air Quality Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A View from Two Epicenters, with Valentina Bosetti”
Valentina Bosetti discusses how air pollution data in Italy and China can provide lessons for the rest of the world as lockdown orders begin to ease.
EIEE Event — Jul 8, 2020
Fostering Green Finance for a Climate-Resilient Post-COVID-19 Recovery
The COVID-19 crisis can be seen as a wake-up call for our social and financial system to be better prepared for the long-term climate crisis.