Environment: the Covid pandemic to have an “insignificant” impact on the global warming, the UN says

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 9 December 2020 at 20h12
Despite the coronavirus crisis and restrictions related to the lockdown instated in several countries across the world, the planet is still headed towards global warming up to +3°C (37.4°F). According to the UN, in the long run, the pandemic will only have a “negligible” effect on climate change.

As the coronavirus crisis goes on in the world, the global warming issue remains as urging and preoccupying. This December 9, after World’s Climate Day, the UN wished to once again sound the alarm about the environmental issue. Even though many countries have decided to implement lockdown measures to halt the spread of coronavirus, leading to a decrease of the greenhouse gas emission, this decrease will have a “negligible” effect on global warming, the UN says. Therefore, the planet is still dangerously headed towards +3°C warming.

A number far from the goal set during the Paris Agreement. The main goal being to keep global warming far under 2°C and pursue even more advanced efforts to limit the global warming to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial levels.

According to the latest report from the UN Environment Program released this December 9, greenhouse gas emissions are to decrease by 7% in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis, but in the long run, it will only have a “negligible” effect on the global warming, the UN says.

Faced with this analysis, the world will have to work twice as hard to keep up the goals set during the Paris Agreement, and limit the global warming to 1.5°C. How? By reducing greenhouse gas emission by 7.6% per year, every year from 2020 to 2030, the UN warns. A goal that seems hard to achieve as these emissions increased by 1.5% per year for the past decade. Record was set in 2019 with a 2.6% increase in comparison with 2018.

As underlined by UN experts, global change grows clearer. This November 2020 has been the hottest November ever recorded in the world. “Wildfires, storms and droughts continue to wreak havoc while glaciers melt at unprecedented rates” UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen says before adding: “The pandemic is a warning that we must urgently shift from our destructive development path, which is driving the three planetary crises of climate change, nature loss and pollution. But it is clearly also a major opportunity […] to protect our climate and nature for decades to come.”

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