A green pandemic recovery

Despite a dip in greenhouse gas emissions from the COVID-19 economic slowdown, the world is still heading for a catastrophic temperature rise above 3°C this century – far beyond the goals of the Paris Agreement. But UNEP’s Emissions Gap points to hope in a green pandemic recovery and growing commitments to net-zero emissions.

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There had been the assumption – even hopes – that the pandemic would have reduced pollution and emissions:

Coronavirus: the impact on the environment – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Have coronavirus concerns shut down talk of climate change? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

But it became clear that there was minimal impact:

Covid has had little impact on carbon emissions – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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A new report just out verifies that:

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UNEP Emissions Gap report urges “green pandemic recovery”

A green pandemic recovery could cut up to 25 per cent off predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions and bring the world closer to meeting the 2°C goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report finds.

UNEP’s annual Emissions Gap Report 2020 finds that, despite a dip in 2020 carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century.

However, if governments invest in climate action as part of pandemic recovery and solidify emerging net-zero commitments with strengthened pledges at the next climate meeting – taking place in Glasgow in November 2021 – they can bring emissions to levels broadly consistent with the 2°C goal…

UNEP Emissions Gap report urges “green pandemic recovery” | World Meteorological Organization

Emissions Gap Report 2020 | UNEP – UN Environment Programme

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The media in the UK and beyond has focussed on the disappointments of the last year:

Coronavirus lockdown only cut 2050 temperatures by 0.01 per cent | Daily Mail Online

Covid lockdowns will only lower 2050 temperatures by 0.01C, predicts UN | Environment | The Guardian

Despite COVID-19 lockdowns, world heads to temperature rise: UN report | World News – India TV

World set for 3C warming despite pandemic, pledges: UN – France 24

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However, some are focussing on the positive inputs from the UN report:

Green pandemic recovery essential to close climate action gap – DTU

UN: ‘Green recovery’ essential to close on-going emissions gap

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With more from the UN:

Despite a dip in greenhouse gas emissions from the COVID-19 economic slowdown, the world is still heading for a catastrophic temperature rise above 3°C this century – far beyond the goals of the Paris Agreement. But UNEP’s Emissions Gap points to hope in a green pandemic recovery and growing commitments to net-zero emissions.

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Emissions Gap Report 2020: An Inflection Point

   
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