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“Emissions from fossil fuels now exceed pre-pandemic rates”
Planet Earth requires more ambitious measures to counter global warming. This is revealed in a report prepared jointly by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other specialized institutions. As it stands, the nations of the world will not respect the mandate of the Paris Agreements.
“Heat waves in Europe. Colossal floods in Pakistan. Severe and prolonged droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States. There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the consequences of humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels,” insists António Guterres, the UN’s Secretary-General (UN). “We are going in the wrong direction”, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns, 13 September 2022. United in science, a report carried out jointly by this specialized agency of the United Nations and other climate research programs, warns the citizens of planet earth. “Unless we take much more ambitious action, the physical and socio-economic impacts of climate change will become increasingly devastating,” the WMO says.
The only positive consequence of the health crisis was that the car left in the garage had allowed the globe to breathe. Finished. The end of confinement signals a further increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. And the WMO notes that “emissions from fossil fuels now exceed pre-pandemic rates”. The Global Carbon Project (GCP) participates in the report and reports that from January to May 2022 global CO2 emissions2 of fossil origin increased by 1.2% compared to the same period in 2019. At this rate, all experts agree that it is impossible to respect the Paris Agreement. If the goal is to limit global warming below the 2 degree limit, at best 1.5 degrees.
Europe on the front line in the face of global warming
The report’s forecasts for the next five years are disturbing. Average annual temperatures are expected to exceed pre-industrial averages by 1.1 to 1.7 degrees. And “the probability that the annual mean global near-surface temperature will temporarily exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5°C in at least one of the next five years is 48%”. The report states that this probability can only increase over time in the absence of new measures. A conclusion supported by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), co-author of the study, to which the current commitments of the signatories of the Paris Agreement remain “inadequate”. The institution assures that these should be “four times more ambitious to put us back on track to limit global warming to 2°C and seven times more to limit it to 1.5°C”.
“The report United in science this year shows that climate change is on the verge of having an unprecedented destructive effect. But although the symptoms are rapidly worsening, we are sinking deeper into our dependence on fossil fuels every year,” laments António Guterres. And it’s up to the biggest cities, which are responsible for “almost 70% of man-made emissions,” to tackle the problem head-on. Because it is also in these areas that the effects of global warming are felt. Europe on the front line. The inhabitants of the old continent were the victims – and the indirect actors – of a devastating summer 2022 between fires, heat waves and drought. From north to south, European nations have broken temperature records. And 2023 is part of the same trend. Humanity is heading in the “wrong direction” and at this rate it is right into the wall. It’s up to her to take it, quicklyattention.