The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed the progress of climate change: the concentration of greenhouse gases has grown in the first half of 2021 and emissions of CO2, nitrous oxide or methane return to the record levels of 2019. The The gap between the amount of gases that could be released to contain global warming below 2ºC and the amount being released is “as big as ever”, according to the latest joint assessment prepared by the World Meteorological Agency, UN-Environment and Global Carbon Project.
The UN climate report is an almost ignored red alert: “The world listens, but does not act enough”
“We are still with a significant delay in meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has reproached when learning the results of the report. “Unless there is an immediate and large-scale cut in emissions, it would be impossible to limit warming to 1.5ºC.”
The plug that overheats the planet is thicker
Climate change occurs by creating a crust of gases in the atmosphere that prevents the solar radiation bounced off the planet from going out into space. Preliminary data indicate that the concentration of these gases increased in 2020 and continued to grow between January and July 2021.
CO2, the main greenhouse gas, exceeded an average of 410 parts per million (ppm) in the northern hemisphere last year and “has exceeded 415 ppm in 2021,” says the analysis. Far is the symbolic threshold of 400 ppm exceeded in 2015 and that took the concentration to levels not seen in 800,000 years.
Emissions have picked up again
Global Carbon Project has provisionally calculated that several sectors have released as many greenhouse gases as in 2019. That course was the historical record with 43 Gigatons (43,000 million tons). For example, global power generation and industry are already “equal to or higher” than the first half of 2019. Road transport remained slightly below.
This means that “five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the difference between what is permissible and reality is as great as ever,” the report’s editors explain. Five years closer to the point of no return. And they explain that it is necessary to give a bite of about 15,000 million tons of CO2 to the climate plans of the countries to meet the Agreement by the hair and double if the worst consequences of climate change are to be avoided (whose overheating limit is 1 , 5 ° C).
The report highlights some of the most recent extreme weather events. The absolute record of temperatures in Canada and the northwestern US, the floods in Germany and central Europe last July … The weather conditions attributed to warming have also led to a wave of highly destructive forest fires throughout the Mediterranean basin. From Greece in early summer to Malaga in late summer.
This multidisciplinary analysis has also included the key points of the sixth report of the UN panel of experts, the IPCC, which last August concluded that no one is safe from the damage caused by the climate crisis. And he attributed the alteration to human action unequivocally. His calculations based on scientific evidence warned that the planet will warm, at least until 2050.
“The message of the report is clear: time is running out,” summarized Guterres. At the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November, states are to present their climate strategies. The calculations indicate that, all together, they must suppose a cut of 45% of the world-wide emissions of 2010. With it there is on the table, for the moment, the mouthful would remain in half of the necessary thing.