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

“In the long-term, this still does not 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,” said Cleo Verkuijl at SEI. “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.”

“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,” added Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for Environment and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister. “We are 19 ministers 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

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