Pandemic has not stopped climate change

Image Alexandros Michailidis  Shutterstock

The report found climate change was racing ahead and there were global events to prove it - such as heatwaves in Siberia and melting ice sheets in Antarctica.

The Secretary-General emphasised that there was "no time to delay" if the world had to slow the trend of the devastating impacts of climate change, and limit the temperate rise to 1.5 degree-Celsius.

Sustained cuts in pollution of at least seven per cent each year over the next decade are required to keep temperatures below the internationally agreed target.

By early June 2020, global daily emissions had mostly returned to within 5% below 2019 levels, which reached a new record of 36.7 Gigatonnes past year, 62% higher than at the start of climate change negotiations in 1990, GCP said in the report. In the next five years, there is a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing a year hot enough to put the global temperature beyond that target, according to the report.

"And now 2016-2020 is set to be the warmest five year period on record".

These changes will have a catastrophic impact on human populations, according to Eva Plaganyi, a research scientist from CSIRO.

"This is an extremely important contribution to the debate on how the United Kingdom reaches our net zero target and I hope it gives impetus to policy makers to take bold action to reduce our emissions", Darren Jones MP, chair of the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, said in a statement.

'The report makes clear that although there were some declines in Carbon dioxide emissions due to reduced economic activity, we need sustained reductions to help close the gap'. It should be noted that to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less by 2100, global emissions have to decline by 5% every year from 2019.

'Instead, in 2019, global emissions from fossil fuels increased slightly.

The report from the United Nations, the World Meteorological Organization and other global science groups has said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic which brought much of the world to a standstill, emissions continue to rise.

The panel of more than 100 ordinary citizens - set up by six House of Commons select committees past year to give the public a bigger say - suggested the aviation taxes could "increase as people fly more often and as they fly further".

"We have seen a drop in the emissions this year because of the Covid-19 crisis and lockdowns in many countries. but this is not going to change the big picture", Petteri Taalas, head of the World Meteorological Organization, a United Nations agency based in Geneva, told Reuters Television.

"Never before has it been so clear that we need long term, inclusive, clean transitions to tackle the climate crisis and achieve sustainable development", UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said in the report. We must turn the recovery from the pandemic into a real opportunity to build a better future.

'The Arctic is one of the most vulnerable regions on Earth to climate change and warming here will have consequences both for the region and the planet as a whole'. I still hope that the global emitters will also commit to carbon neutrality in 2050, ' he said.

"Greenhouse gas concentrations - which are already at their highest levels in 3 million years - have continued to rise".

"Meanwhile, large swathes of Siberia have seen a prolonged and remarkable heatwave during the first half of 2020, which would have been nearly impossible without anthropogenic climate change".

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