The world has not gotten greener after the coronavirus lockdowns, a report by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says. According to the report, the brief interruption of large-scale emissions of waste due to the lockdown has not affected the amount of CO2 in the air.


In many countries, the industry was shut down for a short or more extended period of time due to the corona measures. This often resulted in slightly cleaner air in the short term, but the WMO writes that it has did not affect combating climate change in the longer term. Since the lockdowns are essentially over, there have only been more exhaust fumes blown into the air.

According to the WMO, there is a good chance that the average temperature on earth in the next five years will be 1.5 degrees higher than the average in the pre-industrial period. “We are still not going to meet the agreements in the Paris agreement,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres writes in the foreword. “If we don’t take drastic measures immediately, it will have catastrophic consequences for people and the earth.”

Emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases peaked in 2019, after which they fell sharply in 2020 due to the corona pandemic. However, the report says that more emissions were emitted in the first six months of 2021 than in the same period in 2019.

The WMO writes that it is good that more and more countries are focusing on net emissions of 0 percent, but the policy must be much more ambitious to achieve agreed climate goals and to prevent the earth from warming too much. The temperature was never higher than in the period between 2017 and 2021. It was on average between 1.06 and 1.26 degrees warmer than in the time before industrialization.

The report recommends that reconstruction after the corona pandemic go hand in hand with making the world more sustainable. “The report is clear, and we don’t have time to wait anymore,” Guterres said.

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