The worldwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic has barely made a dent in the causes of climate change, according to the United in Science report. Although CO2 emissions fell during the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, concentrations of the long-lasting gas have continued to increase in the atmosphere.
2016-20: Warmest Years
The period between 2016 and 2020 will probably be the warmest five years on record, the study finds.
Lockdowns and GHG Emissions
The study shows that worldwide lockdowns had a significant as well as immediate effect on GHG emissions, with daily levels in April 2020 falling by 17% compared with 2019.
Need to cut carbon emissions
The authors of the report say “irreversible” climate change impacts are increasing.
To keep the world from going beyond 1.5°C of warming (since preindustrial times) this century, GHG production should be slashed, urgently.
The study says that by 2030, the world would need to cut the combined emissions of the top 6 carbon-producing countries to have a reasonable chance of staying below the 1.5C “guard rail”.
Pandemic-Sized Carbon Slowdown
Although not impossible, the report added it would require a pandemic-sized carbon slowdown every year from now until the end of the decade.