"Our study highlights the interconnected nature of international
supply chains, with observable global spillover effects across a range of industry sectors, such as manufacturing, tourism and transport," said study researcher Arunima Malik from the University of Sydney in Australia.
For the findings, published in the journal 'PLOS ONE', the research team applied an economic modelling approach known as multi-region input-output (MRIO) analysis to data on losses experienced by global businesses as a direct consequence of the pandemic.
The MRIO approach enabled the researchers to account for how losses in individual countries impact the entire global economy
The analysis revealed that the pandemic has resulted in an estimated global consumption loss of $3.8 trillion, accompanied by job losses equivalent to 147 million full-time positions, as well as a loss of $2.1 trillion in wages and salaries.
As a silver lining, however, a fall in production and air travel has resulted in environmental benefits, the researchers said.
The MRIO analysis estimates a 2.5 metric gigaton reduction in greenhouse gasses, as well as significant reductions for other air pollutants, including PM2.5, sulfur dioxide, and NOx gases.
The authors noted that decisions made in response to the ongoing pandemic could shape the future of humanity.
They outline a choice between returning to "business as usual," which could leave humanity vulnerable to additional crises, or altering the global economy
with an eye towards sustainability and resiliency.
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