While the Covid-19 pandemic led to a slight decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, it is not enough to make a measurable impact on the climate crisis we are facing. CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2019 and have continued to climb, according to a report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
“The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph,” says WMO chief Petteri Taalas.
As EcoWatch reports, levels of carbon dioxide, a product of burning fossil fuels that contribute to global warming, peaked at 410.5 parts per million in 2019. The annual increase is larger than the previous year and surpasses the average over the last decade.
“CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries,” Taalas pointed out, meaning that actions taken this year to curb the spread of a deadly infectious disease are “not a solution for climate change,” reported Common Dreams.
A video was also released by the WMO, along with their report:
According to The Guardian, scientists calculate that emissions must fall by half by 2030 to give a good chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C, beyond which hundreds of millions of people will face more heatwaves, droughts, floods, and poverty.