The impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on air pollution in Lombardia

CMCC Webinar | 30 June, 2020 – 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM CEST

Speaker: Francesco Granella, RFF-CMCC, European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE)

Discussant: Guido Lanzani, ARPA Lombardia

Moderator: Lara Aleluia, RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE)


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. Authors then computed the estimated life-years saved due to the improved air quality.


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CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change
RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE)

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