Economy White Paper Series
Exploring Today’s Most Important Economic Questions
The Center publishes White Papers on a wide variety of economic issues. Diverse in topic, these reports are intended to shed light on important economy-related debates and emerging trends. The Economy White Paper Series is produced entirely by the Center’s nationally renowned economists and researchers.
Huge Pandemic-Driven Decline in Road Traffic Won’t Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented shift in commuting and mobility patterns worldwide, something that has led to a false perception that the pandemic may be a boon to greenhouse gas reduction. Our new white paper examines California’s GHG emissions before and after the viral outbreak and finds that despite significantly less road traffic in the state, long run emissions reductions are not likely to result from the crisis.
The analysis concludes that while there will probably be a long term reduction in commuting to and from work, the resulting drop in GHG emissions will be small. Additionally, the pandemic may pose a long-term risk to shared mobility, a cornerstone of California’s emissions reduction strategy.