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United Nations: COVID-19 Lockdowns Slashed Pollutants, Not CO2 Levels

According to World Meteorological Organization, there has been a slight decrease in the use of carbon, which is a slightly positive thing but more is required

United Nations: COVID-19 Lockdowns Slashed Pollutants, Not CO2 Levels
Highlights
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is not a solution for climate change: UN Agency
  • The lockdown-related fall in carbon emissions is just a tiny blip: Expert
  • There was a reduction in annual global emissions by 4.25- 7.5%: WMO

Geneva: A slowdown in industrial activity linked to the coronavirus pandemic has cut emissions of pollutants and heat-trapping greenhouse gases, but hasn’t reduced their record levels in the atmosphere, the United Nations weather agency said on Monday (November 23). The World Meteorological Organization pointed to a record-setting surge of carbon dioxide emissions in recent years, but warned that any reduction in levels as a result of a pandemic-related industrial slowdown will take years to materialize.

Also Read: Air Pollution And COVID-19: Is It About Time To Shift From Cloth Mask To Pollution Safe N95 Or N99 Mask?

The organization also said this can best be achieved if countries are able to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to zero. “The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph. We need a sustained flattening of the curve,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said on Monday after releasing the latest edition of the organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not a solution for climate change.” WMO cited estimates from the Global Carbon Project indicating that daily carbon dioxide emissions could have fallen by as much as 17 per cent worldwide during the peak of the lockdown period when people in many countries were forced to stay home.

But figures for the whole year remain unclear, and WMO said preliminary estimates indicate a reduction in annual global emissions of between 4.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent. The lockdown has cut emissions of many pollutants and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Also Read: 50,000 Trees Saved And Agricultural Waste Prevented From Burning By This Nagpur Warrior, Here’s How

But the change in CO2 concentrations – the result of cumulative past and current emissions – is in fact no bigger than the normal year-to-year fluctuations in the carbon cycle and in the amount of carbon being soaked up by vegetation and oceans.

“There has been a slight plateau in the use of carbon, which is a slightly positive thing,” WMO Secretary-General told a video news conference, saying removing it from the atmosphere is “a very slow process.” WMO said carbon-dioxide levels spiked again in 2019 to what Mr. Taalas called a “record rate of increase,” rising to a concentration of 410 parts per million just four years after topping 400 parts per million. Mr. Taalas praised efforts by some countries to reach carbon neutrality in the coming years.

Also Read: Spell Of Heavy Smog In Indian Capital Raises Fears For COVID-19 Patients

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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