A UN report has warned that time is running out of time to deal with the climate crisis, with the COVID-19 pandemic failing to avert “relentless” climate change.
The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report states that, in a “double blow” on the millions of people affected by extreme climatic events, the containment restrictions are related to Global coronavirus outbreaks also delay critical support in some areas.
The UN emphasizes that 2021 should be the year of action to protect people against the “harmful” impacts of climate change.
Call before US President Joe Biden climate summit on Thursday and Friday.
Forty world leaders have been invited to attend Biden’s virtual negotiations aimed at encouraging major economies to work to resolve the climate crisis.
“We are on the brink of a cliff,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during a press conference when he released WMO’s 2020 Global Climate Report on Monday.
“This is truly a pivotal year for the future of humanity. And this report shows we don’t have time to waste, climate uncertainty is here, ”said Guterres, as he urged countries to” end the war with nature. “
The report describes 2020 as one of the hottest years on record, about 1.2 degrees C higher than the pre-industrial era, ranking it somewhere in the top three hottest years alongside 2016, and 2019, although La Niña conditions are cooling down.
The report says concentrations of major greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – continue to rise, despite temporary emissions reductions in 2020 associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, weakening the economy.
Among the indicators highlighted is the record low in the Arctic sea ice for two months of 2020. About 80% of the ocean experienced at least one heat wave at sea last year.
“This is the year of action. Countries need to commit to zero net emissions by 2050, ”said the head of the United Nations. “They need to act now to protect everyone from the damaging effects of climate change”
The hottest year
Statistics show that 2020 is one of the three warmest years on record. The past six years, including 2020, have been the warmest six on record.
Temperatures hit 38 degrees Celsius at Verkhoyansk in Russia on June 20, the highest temperature recorded north of the Arctic Circle.
Last year, Mr. Guterres said “extreme weather and climate instability, driven by man-made climate change, affect lives, destroy livelihoods and force millions of people to leave. their home, ”said Guterres.
The report says sea level rise is increasing rapidly, while oceanic acidification and heat storage are increasing, reducing the ocean’s ability to moderate climate change resistance.
Extreme heat waves, severe droughts and wildfires have also resulted in economic losses of tens of billions of dollars and many deaths.
In 2020, the unprecedented 30 Atlantic storms named resulted in at least 400 deaths and $ 41 billion in damage.
Approximately 9.8 million relocations, largely due to hydrometeorological disasters and disasters – such as floods, droughts, hurricanes and landslides – were recorded in the first half of 2020.
“This year is the hinge. At the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26, in November we need to demonstrate that we are implementing and planning bold action on mitigation and adaptation, ”said Guterres.
However, the 71-year-old head of the United Nations stressed that the achievement of strong emissions reduction targets would mean “fundamental changes” in terms of finances and prioritize efforts to help regions. emerging areas such as Africa and South Asia.