On reduced consumption of fossil fuels in 2020 and its consequences in global environment and exergy demand

A. Rashedi, Taslima Khanam, Mirjam Jonkman

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Abstract

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sudden and abrupt change in global energy landscape. Traditional fossil fuels that serve as the linchpin of modern civilization have found their consumption has rapidly fallen across most categories due to strict lockdown and stringent measures that have been adopted to suppress the disease. These changes consequently steered various environmental benefits across the world in recent time. The present article is an attempt to investigate these environmental benefits and reversals that have been materialized in this unfolding situation due to reduced consumption of fossil fuels. The life cycle assessment tool was used hereby to evaluate nine environmental impacts and one energy based impact. These impacts include ozone formation (terrestrial ecosystems), terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, terrestrial ecotoxicity, freshwater ecotoxicity, marine ecotoxicity, land use, mineral resources scarcity, and cumulative exergy demand. Outcomes from the study demonstrate that COVID-19 has delivered impressive changes in global environment and life cycle exergy demand, with about 11–25% curtailment in all the above-mentioned impacts in 2020 in comparison to their corresponding readings in 2019.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6048
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEnergies
Volume13
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020

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