WORLD Greenhouse gas levels keep rising despite COVID-19 lockdown

WORLD

Greenhouse gas levels keep rising despite COVID-19 lockdown

Xinhua

20:44, November 23, 2020

File Photo: Agencies.

GENEVA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Greenhouse gases levels hit record highs in 2019 and have continued rising this year, despite the industrial slowdown due to COVID-19, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Monday in a press release.

According to the WMO, carbon dioxide levels rose to a new record of 410.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2019, up from 407.9 ppm in 2018 and 400.1 ppm in 2015. The rise has continued in 2020.

"Preliminary estimates indicate a reduction in the annual global emission between 4.2 percent and 7.5 percent" for 2020, said the agency, adding that "at the global scale, an emissions reduction this scale will not cause atmospheric CO2 to go down."

"The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph. We need a sustained flattening of the curve," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is not a solution for climate change. However, it does provide us with a platform for more sustained and ambitious climate action to reduce emissions to net zero through a complete transformation of our industrial, energy and transport systems," he said.

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