Climate Change Not Slowed By The COVID-19 Pandemic: UN

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According to the United Nations, carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly accelerating, after the temporary reduction during COVID-19 lockdowns. The carbon dioxide emissions have taken us afar from the targets by the Paris Agreement and have no hope to go back to the greens.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, denoting the report, highlighted that climate transformation is proceeding at a faster rate than expected. He stated “We have reached a tipping point on the need for climate action. The disruption to our climate and our planet is already worse than we thought, and it is moving faster than predicted” in a video message.

According to scientists, the increase in global temperatures is contributing to already devastated weather, resulting in extreme weather events in the world which eventually impacts economies and societies.

Mr. Guterres said, “We now have five times the number of recorded weather disasters than we had in 1970 and they are seven times more costly. Even the most developed countries have become vulnerable”.

He cited how Hurricane Ida cut power to over a million in New Orleans and New York City was stopped like paralysed by the rain that broke records and killed at least 50  in the region. He warningly added to his statement “These events would have been impossible without human-caused climate change. Costly fires, floods and extreme weather events are increasing everywhere. These changes are just the beginning of worse to come”.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is scheduled in Glasgow, Scotland between 31st October and 12th November 2021. According to Guterres, COP26  will be a turning point and by then all countries need to commit and strategize to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by the middle of this century.

The increasing number of countries committing to net-zero emission goals is encouraging to remain feasible and credible, these goals urgently need to be reflected in near-term policy and in more ambitious actions, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) highlights.

According to the WMO, reducing atmospheric methane (CH4), one of the major greenhouse gasses, could support the pledges of 193 Member States made in the Paris Agreement.

The UN report explains that the Earth has a warmer future because in each of the next five years, the yearly global average temperature is expected to be at least 1 °C warmer than pre-industrial levels, with a range of 0.9 °C to 1.8 °C. There is also a 40% chance that the average temperature in one of the next five years will be at least 1.5 °C warmer than pre-industrial levels.

The action of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, continues to alarm the exiting rise of sea levels, WMO explains that even if emissions are decreased to keep warming well below 2 °C, the global average sea level is expected to rise 0.3–0.6 metres by 2100, and 0.3–3.1 metres by 2300.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that rising temperatures with Covid-19 are also a serious combination of health risks. The combination has increased heat-related mortality, life-threatening infections and climate hazards such as heatwaves, wildfires and poor air quality.

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