The dramatic fall in global carbon emissions observed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide closures would need to match every two years for the rest of the decade to meet the primary goals mentioned in the Paris Climate Agreement (the international pact) on climate change, according to the latest study. Though the authors of the report don’t recommend that the world depends on lockdowns to help combat climate change.
Moreover, the report published in Nature Climate Change found that carbon emissions drop by almost 2.6 billion metric tons in the previous year, or approximately a seven percent plunge from 2019, a historic decrease. Whereas the researchers explained that additional drops in carbon emission – one billion to two billion metric tons yearly – required the global output to meet the safe global temperature range specified by the Paris Agreement to overcome the effects of climate change.
That is approximately the equivalent of COVID-19 pandemic-scale lockdown measure once every two years, according to researchers. Instead of causing the instant fall in emissions, the lockdown restrictions will not possibly yield lasting improvement because the measure had a minor effect on the huge fossil fuel-based infrastructure that sustains the worldwide economy. Furthermore, researchers wrote the course of global carbon emissions might redirected if global governments divest from fossil fuels and invest in green energy in the years after the end of coronavirus.
Tackling climate change could be the heart of all policies
Corinne Le Quéré, the study’s lead author, told the Guardian that previously, they failed to understand that they cannot tackle climate change as a side issue. It cannot be about a policy or law; it needs to place at the heart of all policies. Every plan from every government of all the countries must stand consistent with tackling climate change.
Earth temperatures should stay within 1.5°C or 2°C of preindustrial levels to avoid climate catastrophes because of warming temperatures, food insecurity, and natural disasters. Recent evidence suggests that it may be a long-shot goal. According to the World Meteorological Organization’s 2020 annual report, the carbon emissions drop from COVID-19 lockdowns last year will have virtually no long-lasting effect on the battle against the imminent climate crisis.
The most recent reduction targets would result in less than a 1% decline
In February, the UN warned that the latest reduction targets submitted by Paris Agreement member countries would result in a below one percent decline in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 when a prior report estimated emissions would have to fall by forty-five percent to meet the Paris Agreement. António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that the report is a red alert for Earth. Further, he adds that the governments are somewhat close to the level of goal need to meet the goals of the pact. According to the recent statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA) released this week, global emissions of carbon dioxide have already returned to normal to pre-coronavirus levels.
A professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, Dave Reay, says that there are already signs that instead of build back better, it is usually a case of build back. If we have any chance of getting back on the right track to meet the goals, the path out of the outbreak must be both green and global.