Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) say far “greater ambition” is needed in slashing the levels of fossil fuel emissions. The study by the UEA, Stanford University and the Global Carbon Project found that a tenfold increase in the level of these gases in order to tackle the climate crisis. The report, which has just been published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests growth in fossil fuel carbon pollution was already faltering before Covid-19 lockdowns saw emissions tumble. But far greater ambition is needed, the report warned. The analysis looked at what has happened to global carbon emissions in the five years since the Paris climate accord was agreed in late 2015. The study shows that 64 countries cut their fossil fuel-related carbon emissions between 2016 and 2019, but average annual cuts of 0.16 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide achieved by these countries are only 10% of the 1-2 billion tonnes of reductions needed globally every year to tackle climate change. The research also showed that 150 countries saw emissions rise between 2016 and 2019, and overall global carbon output from fossil fuels increased by 0.21 billion tonnes a year on average, compared to 2011-15. The report said that the 7% cut in emissions seen from 2019-2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide would need to be repeated every year for at least the rest of the decade if the goals of the Paris Climate Accord are to be exceeded. Already however, global emissions seem to be on the rise again, which threatens to offset the decreases made in 2020, although the scientists say that a full rebound is unlikely.
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Fossil Fuel Emissions Need to Be Slashed Tenfold to Reduce Climate Change, ITV, 2021-03-03