A new report from the World Meteorological Organization found that greenhouse gas concentrations hit an all-time high last year and increased faster than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary dip during pandemic lockdowns.
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a stark, scientific message for climate change negotiators at COP26,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. COP26 is a U.N. climate change conference in Scotland taking place from October 31-November 12.
“At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris agreement targets of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (2.7-3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels,” Taalas said.
Experts said that emissions must be cut in half by 2030 to achieve the goals laid out in the Paris accord.
“Overshooting the temperature goals will lead to a destabilized world and endless suffering, especially among those who have contributed the least to the GHG emissions in the atmosphere,” said Patricia Espinosa, a leader of the U.N. climate office.
“We are nowhere near where science says we should be,” she said.