But the historic drop is not cause for celebration – at least not yet.

“In the long-term this still doesn't do much to take us off dangerous climate change trajectory. More needs to be done if we are to address the long-term challenge of climate change.”

— Cleo Verkuijl, Stockholm Environment Institute

Environment researchers say addressing climate change will require deep-rooted and steadfast changes in how most of the world lives, work and consumes. The COVID-19 crisis might offer that chance to change course.

“The changes that we’ll see will largely depend on choices and investments made by governments. Are we going to invest in green jobs, and green technologies, green education, and R&D? Or are we going to go back to business as usual which was profoundly dangerous?”

“This is a very important message: that we all keep our policy makers to account for those decisions,” said Cleo Verkuijl at SEI.

Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, said:

“We are allying with other ministers in the EU to keep the green deal at the centre of the response for the COVID-19 economic crisis. We are 19 minsters now that have signed up and are urging the EU Commission to have the green deal as the fundament of a recovery package.”

Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for the Environment and Climate.
Photo: Kristiah Pohl, Government Offices of Sweden