UN says world likely to miss climate targets despite COVID-19 pause in emissions

The tempo of local weather change has not been slowed by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the world stays behind in its battle to chop carbon emissions, the United Nations mentioned on Thursday.

The virus-related financial downturn precipitated solely a brief downturn in CO2 emissions final 12 months and it was not sufficient to reverse the rising ranges of greenhouse gases within the ambiance, the World Meteorological Group (WMO) mentioned.

Discount targets aren’t being met and there’s a rising chance the world will miss its Paris Settlement goal of decreasing world warming to 1.5 levels Celsius above pre-industrial ranges, the WMO mentioned in its United in Science 2021 Report.

“It is a essential 12 months for local weather motion,” UN Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres mentioned, saying the outcomes have been an “alarming appraisal of simply how far astray we’re.”

“This 12 months has seen fossil gas emissions bounce again, greenhouse fuel concentrations persevering with to rise and extreme human-enhanced climate occasions which have affected well being, lives and livelihoods on each continent,” he mentioned.

Concentrations within the ambiance of the most important greenhouse gases – CO2, methane and nitrous oxide – continued to extend in 2020 and the primary half of 2021, the UN mentioned.

The typical world temperature for the previous 5 years was among the many highest on file, estimated at 1.06C to 1.26C above pre-industrial ranges.

There’s now a 40% likelihood that common world temperature in one of many subsequent 5 years shall be at the very least 1.5C hotter than pre-industrial ranges, the report mentioned.

“Except there are quick, fast and large-scale reductions in greenhouse fuel emissions, limiting warming to 1.5C shall be not possible, with catastrophic penalties for individuals and the planet on which we rely,” Guterres mentioned.

The United in Science 2021 report presents the newest scientific knowledge and findings associated to local weather change.

“All through the pandemic we now have heard that we should construct again higher to set humanity on a extra sustainable path and to keep away from the worst impacts of local weather change on society and economies,” mentioned WMO Secretary-Normal Petteri Taalas.

“This report exhibits that up to now in 2021 we aren’t moving into the appropriate path,” he mentioned.

(Reporting by John Revill; Enhancing by Edmund Blair)

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