Effects of COVID-19 on mobility GHG emissions: Case of the city of Lahti, Finland

Case Stud Transp Policy. 2022 Mar;10(1):598-605. doi: 10.1016/j.cstp.2022.01.020. Epub 2022 Feb 1.


The coronavirus disease COVID-19 has spread worldwide since early 2020, and it has impacted mobility emissions due to mobility restrictions and e.g. increased remote work. This creates a good opportunity to assess how mobility emissions have reduced due to COVID-19. This research is based on data related to mobility distances and modes that have been automatically collected by using a mobile phone application in the city of Lahti, Finland. The results show that mobility decreased in total by approximately 40% during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020. The global warming potential decreased at the same time by approximately 36%. In addition, a considerable shift in modal shares could be seen. The relative modal share of passenger cars increased by 6 percentage points while the share of public transport decreased by 18 percentage points. Despite the considerable reduction, further reductions in emissions from mobility are needed to meet the 1.5 degree climate targets in the urban mobility sector. However, further reductions can be reached also by increasingly using renewable mobility energy sources.

Keywords: COVID-19; Greenhouse gas emissions; Mobility; Passenger; Transport.