The pandemic will not be beneficial for climate change, according to the UN


María Teresa Benítez de LugoMaría Teresa Benítez de Lugo

Geneva

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According to the latest report from the UN Environment Program (UNEP), published this Wednesday, the pandemic will not have favorable consequences for the climate since, after the halt, the expected economic boost will increase the consumption of fossil fuels and these policies will make it difficult to achieve the objectives stipulated by the Paris Agreements of 2015, of limiting the rise in temperatures to 1.5 ° C.

According to the report, after the slowdown in world activity, countries will relaunch the economy and implement policies that will tend to increase fuel production fossils over the next decade. Far from the roadmap agreed in 2015. The consequences foreseen by UNEP are not optimistic because the temperature could rise an additional 3.2 ° C by 2030.

For UNEP experts, the pandemic has caused a 7% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, the main responsible for global warming. However, the climate consequences will be minimal because governments instead of planning to reduce fossil fuel production are planning an annual increase of 2% from 2020.

The report’s co-author, Anne Olhoff, head of the UNEP strategy department, explained to ABC that “a few days after the anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreements, the emissions remain the same as in 2015 and that the efforts they would have to multiply by five to reduce emissions by 6% by 2030 and ensure that the temperature does not rise more than 1.5 ° C. ‘

“The challenge is enormous because not many efforts have been made on climate change since the meeting in Paris, and we need to achieve a level of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 25% so that the increase in temperature does not exceed 2 ° C in 2030 and over 55% if we want it to stop at 1.5 ° C in 2050, ”explained Olhoff.

Despite the global economy running at half gas, 2020 will be noted in the records as one of the three warmest in history. Fires, hurricanes and droughts have multiplied around the world and a shift in planned recovery policies will be necessary for greenhouse gas emissions to decrease.

“However, there are some positive signs because 126 countries have already announced that will reduce their gas emissions and achieve the goal of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Of course, these government statements alone are not enough, but if all countries put this principle into practice, the temperature would not rise more than 1.5 ° C, “he said.

“We hope that at the next summit, organized in the coming days by the United Kingdom to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, it will reaffirm the intentions of governments and that new countries will commit to meeting the climate goals before 2030». “Ten years is a short time for the climate and we want the declarations of the countries to be translated into practice so as not to delay in our commitments,” the expert stressed.

«At the level of international politics there are also positive signs for climate change Because with the coming to power in the United States of Joe Biden, who has an ambitious program regarding the climate, there will be a change of direction and it is expected that this country, which abandoned the Paris Agreements in 2020 with Donald Trump, will join in new, “he added.

«United States It is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, just behind China, and it is very important that they join the agreements on climate change because with their withdrawal they reduced by half the chances of achieving a climate economy by 2050 neutral, ”Olhoff said.

The report recommends changes in lifestyle and behavior in order to achieve the objectives set. Reducing consumption in the public and private sectors is high on the list of recommendations. Also, efforts at the individual level because two thirds of global gas emissions are related to energy consumption in homes.

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