Denise Konan

Professor of Economics and Dean of the College of Social Sciences


PhD, Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1993
MA, Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1991
BA, Economics, Goshen College, Indiana, 1988

Research Interests

International trade, services trade, regional economic integration, energy, MENA, computable general equilibrium modeling

UH News: UHERO fills critical need, especially during crisis

Potential Benefits, Impacts, and Public Opinion of Seawater Air Conditioning in Waikiki

This report provides a summary of an investigation by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program into the viability and effectiveness of installing a …

EGGS Project Director, Denise Konan Named Dean of College of Social Sciences

UHERO congratulates Dr. Denise E. Konan  for her selection as the new Dean of Manoa’s College of Social Sciences. Denise has spent the past 18 years as …

Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on global fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Nori Tarui


We assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on global fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over the two-year horizon 2020Q1-2021Q4. We apply a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model, which captures complex spatial-temporal interdependencies across countries associated with the international propagation of economic impact due to the virus spread. The model makes use of a unique quarterly data set of coal, natural gas, and oil consumption, output, exchange rates and equity prices, including global fossil fuel prices for 32 major CO2 emitting countries in 1984-2019. We produce forecasts of coal, natural gas and oil consumption, conditional on GDP growth scenarios based on alternative IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts that were made before and after the outbreak. We also simulate the effect of a relative price change in fossil fuels, due to global scale carbon pricing, on consumption and output. Our results predict fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to return to their pre-crisis levels, and even exceed them, within the two-year horizon despite the large reductions in the first quarter following the outbreak. Our forecasts anticipate more robust growth for emerging than for advanced economies. The model predicts recovery to the pre-crisis levels even if another wave of pandemic occurs within a year. Our counterfactual carbon pricing scenario indicates that an increase in coal prices is expected to have a smaller impact on GDP than on fossil fuel consumption. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic would not provide countries with a strong reason to delay climate change mitigation efforts.