Emissions are already back at pre-pandemic levels

Pablo Tucker
September 12, 2020

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 previous year, 62% higher than at the start of climate change negotiations in 1990, GCP said in the report.

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

The global lockdowns led to a significant and immediate impact on greenhouse gas emissions, the report found, with daily levels in April being 17% lower compared to 2019. What we do in the next five years, will determine the course of global warming for the next century.

"Record heat, ice loss, wildfires, floods and droughts continue to worsen, affecting communities, nations and economies around the world".

The UN chief said it was important to note that there has been a very important movement in the private sector as well as by civil society towards climate action and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "We need science, solidarity and solutions".

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

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

The assembly, selected to reflect diversity in Britain's demographics and views on climate change, met over a series of weekends from January to May - with the COVID-19 crisis pushing some sessions online - to learn about options to cut emissions.

"The expectations that we have in relation to the next five years about storms, about drought and about other dramatic impacts in the living conditions of many people around the world are absolutely bad", Guterres said, in interviews published Tuesday with AFP and other members of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of news outlets committed to increased climate coverage. "At the same time, the heating of our planet and climate disruption has continued apace", said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a foreword. "We must turn the recovery from the pandemic into a real opportunity to build a better future", said Mr Guterres, who will present the report on 9 September.

Warmer temperatures have seen reductions in the world's glaciers and ice sheets, threatening fresh water supplies.

'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'.

The group of more than 100 people from across the United Kingdom also said the shift to net zero must be fair, and allow for freedom and choice where possible for individuals and local areas.

"For this reason, we need to be considering climate change in investment decisions today because it is 'baked in" for the coming decades at least, ' he said.

According to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, greenhouse gas concentrations are already at their highest levels in three million years and 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 very unlikely without anthropogenic climate change".

"They didn't want policies to change with every successive government", noted Chris Shaw, parliamentary director for the Climate Assembly UK, a 108-member panel created to provide citizen input on meeting Britain's climate change goals.

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