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Green pandemic recovery essential to close climate action gap — UN report

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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 says.

UNEP’s annual Emissions Gap Report 2020 has disclosed 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.

The report pointed out, however, that 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.“By combining a green pandemic recovery with swift moves to include new net-zero commitments in updated Nationally Determined Contributions NDCs, under the Paris Agreement, and following up with rapid, stronger action, governments could still attain the more ambitious 1.5°C goal.

The report finds that in 2019 total greenhouse gas emissions, including land-use change, reached a new high of 59.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e).

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